Sunday, June 7, 2009

More than just a Book Review - The Invisible Wall

There is so much to like about this book. It is a memoir written by harry Bernstein -- a 93 year old man.
You read that right, he wrote this amazing and lyrical novel at 93.
It is the story of his family and growing up Jewish during WW1. It is replete with interesting and heart breaking experiences that will keep you reading long into the night. I'd call it a must read.

One of the reasons I love it so much has nothing to do with the actual book.

The part that is most touching to me is the fact that he wanted to be a writer his whole life
He worked as a 'slush pile reviewer' for a couple of Hollywood movie houses, and had some amazing experiences. One is in regards to a time when he had weekend plans with his wife. He was anxious to get out of town and, on Friday night, his boss handed him a script and told him to have it reviewed by Monday. Harry didn't want to do it. He flipped through the manuscript, decided it was another piece of historical romance trash (his words) and gave it a 'pass'

That manuscript was Gone With the Wind.
Harry lost his job over that pass.
Harry's wife died when he was 91. He began writing his memoir and finished at 93. It was published at 96. His wife never lived to see him realize his life long dream.
But the beautiful lesson is that Harry never gave up. He knew he would be a successful author some day.....and he was.
He was 96 when it happened, but it did happen.
Never give up your dreams, friends.
Never, ever.


Danyelle said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing, Tess. He sounds like an amazing man. :D

B.J. Anderson said...

Wow, thanks for the review about this amazing man!

L.T. Elliot said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. Even if takes me until 93, I'll get my book published. =] Thank you again, Tess.

Yunaleska said...

That's the spirit to have - never giving up!

Jody Hedlund said...

Thanks! That's the kind of encouragement I needed to hear!

Lisa and Laura said...

Amazing! The perfect little piece of inspiration for a Monday morning.

Tess said...

It is inspirational, isn't it? I mean, what would have happened if he would have said at 85, "I guess it was never meant to be."?? It would have been so unfortunate because this is a beautiful piece of literature.

Anonymous said...

he he no its not i'll probably throw it on her next time then she'll have to move!!!!!

lol, its funny really!

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

That's beautiful, Tess. Thanks for posting it.

Suzanne said...

I really really needed this post today!!!!! Thank you so much!

Davin Malasarn said...

Thanks for this review, Tess. I do love stories like that. This weekend I just went to a book reading by a woman named Mary Yukari Waters--whose interview I posted up on Literary Lab today. She's Japanese-American, and after her reading, the conversation went to Japanese reality TV. She said there was a very heartwarming show where they get people over 100 to come on and talk about their lives. Each person does something that they consider impressive, like doing a somersault or something, and then they talk about their daily practices in the hopes of revealing what's kept them alive so long. :)

Tess said...

Areth - glad you got a laugh. I can just see the kitty being thrown through the air (oh no!)

Amy - feeling better? I sure hope so!

Suzanne- your dreams are right out there won't have to wait till 96, my friend.

Davin - really? I would love a show like that. Very inspirational. Must go check out this interview...

Robyn said...

So this means I will GET published but it might take some time. A whole lotta time. YIKES. Sheesh, will I be able to do school visits in my nineties? ARGH! Must do it sooner.

But I'll get the book my friend it sounds like a great read Thanks. :)

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Wow, I guess you really are never too old. Sounds like a great book.

Patience is a virtue.

Danyelle said...

Tess, I have something for you here:

Jessica said...

What a story.

lotusgirl said...

Such a great story. I'm going to have to check out that book. That is a testament to perseverance.

Crystal said...

Wow! Talk about perseverance! Just makes me look pitiful *shakes head* . . .

Great story, Tess! I'm going to look for it; I hope my library has it. Thanks again for the review . . . hearing this, writing-wise, I really have NOTHING to complain about. So inspirational!