Monday, September 15, 2014

Savor this read, with a glass of wine and a warm fire

I am so thrilled to discover an eloquent new review, written by a Top 500 Amazon Reviewer! Here is what Dii wrote for of my novel, Apart From Love:

TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 15, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
And again, Uvi Poznansky uses her words as she uses the stroke of her brush to create art. Apart From Love is a journey through the complex relationships of a son, his father and his young stepmother when desires overrule propriety and create a triangle filled with emotion, past deeds and untold regrets and untruths. Told through the voices of Ben and his young stepmother, Anita, their voices resonate at such a different pitch, there is no doubt who is speaking as they record their thoughts to each other. What has drawn them toward each other? Is it Ben’s need to reconnect with his mother that he sees Anita as a younger version?

When one enjoys anything from Uvi Poznansky, they can expect art on the pages, told from her heart and soul. She treats every work as a treasured piece, imparting her own manner of living a tale. Ms. Poznansky’s work cannot be rushed through; there are too many layers, too many complex thoughts that must be pondered and a tale that does not follow the expected formula. I found myself searching between her words to find a deeper meaning to her tale. When an author pulls you so far into their tale that you must struggle to leave after that last page, they truly have a gift that is to be admired. Forget high action, fast-paced drama, which is not Ms. Poznansky’s style. Savor this read, with a glass of wine and a warm fire, reality and the world will wait for you later.

That was the reason he reached the summit, and fell on his sword

In the end, all that bravery, for which I praise him profusely in my eulogy, turned upon itself. I imagine Saul waiting for his savior, waiting for death to release him from a life of torture, waiting in vain, waiting until it was too late to wait anymore. No wonder he felt compelled to take matters into his own hands. 
I figure he knew his fate, even before setting out to battle. Judging by different accounts, he seemed to be headed—quite intentionally—into defeat, which is quite evident when you study his battle plan. 
In his place, I would have let the Philistines enter the valley, and once they did I would launch a surprise attack upon them from all flanks, and especially from their back. Not so Saul: he engaged them upfront. In retrospect, it seems like a death wish.
This I know: on the eve of the battle, he went to the old witch of Ein-Dor, seeking some advice, some word of reassurance. He begged her to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel, who used to be his spiritual advisor until they fell out. She chanted her usual nonsense, “Double, double, toil and trouble.” Then, out of the poisonous steam puffing out of her caldron, a ghastly face arose, to the sound of a rattling of bones. 
I am certain that the witch of Ein-Dor has a stash of bones in her back pocket. She could not have fooled me, if her life depended on it. As for Saul, perhaps he was ready to be fooled. He should have let Samuel rot peacefully in his grave, because there, opening in midair, was a wrinkled, toothless mouth, and the words that came out of the cold froth rolling upon it were utterly horrific.
“Why do you consult me,” came the rasp, in a voice that sounded like the dead man, “now that the Lord has departed from you, and become your enemy? He has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to another. Because you did not obey Him, because you did not carry out His wrath against the Amalekites… Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me!”
I imagine despair burning out of Saul’s eye, as he rode his stallion at a furious speed, back to Mount Gilboa. Yes, he knew his fate, and the only thing he could do about it was to usher it in. That, and no other, was the reason he reached the summit, and fell on his sword.

David in Rise to Power

My entire trilogy, The David Chronicles, is inspired by art throughout the ages, depicting the story of David moment to moment.

In Rembrandt's sketch, the scene seems like a visit at the next-door neighbor's kitchen. The witch of Ein-Dor sets the table as Saul, wearing a magnificent hat with a feather, seems to squirm on his seat, waiting to hear word from her. 

In Fuseli's painting, Saul is groveling on the floor, begging for an insight to the future, and Prophet Samuel's ghost appears before him as an angry old man, drained of color. The real magic belongs to the witch of Ein-Dor, whose long scarf is swirling magically in the air.

In William Blake's Pen and watercolor painting, this scene becomes fully mystical. Saul's apparition glows, it is light itself, and it casts such fear in Saul that he faints backwards, into the arms of his soldiers. The witch of Ein-Dor is in the center of the image, arms spread, holding the  the scene in the tension of her power. Blake was a poet, and here is his comical 'nod' to Fuseli:
The only man that ever I knew
Who did not make me almost spew
Was Fuseli: he was both Turk and Jew
And so, dear Christian Friends, 
how do you do?

Rembrandt, Saul und seine Diener bei der Frau
in Endor 

Henry Fuseli, Samuel appearing to Saul

William Blake, The Witch of Endor Raising Samuel’s Spirit 

Volume II of the trilogy:
A Peek at Bathsheba
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

 Volume I of the trilogy: 
Rise to Power
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print 

"She writes with exquisite prose and elegant style, 
yet delivers piercing truth and insights into the human psyche on the way. 
A wonderful read."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A reimagining page-turner

Paul Atreides is an author and playwright, and is currently a theater critic for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  He's written numerous articles for a variety of periodicals and been a guest columnist, and a monthly column. I am thrilled to find his review for A Favorite Son:

on September 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
As an author myself, I found this reimagining of an ancient parable so intriguing and so well thought out that once I started, I couldn't put it down. It's a page-turner of family greed, and while you think you may know how it's going to end Poznansky has more than a few surprises for you along the way.

I especially loved the changing of vernacular. It kept you grounded in a world of the past, but made you understand this tale is played out in the here and now, all over the world, in family after family, from the poorest to the top one percent.

I admit I've had the book for a long while and kept putting it off, dropping it to the bottom of the To Read pile; we authors have a tendency to get caught up in our own make-believe worlds to the detriment of all else. But, I so thoroughly enjoyed this novella I can't wait to delve into more of this author's works. She's got a lovely and artistic way with words that pulls you in from the moment you read the first sentence.

Friday, September 12, 2014

#Kindle #Countdown #Deal: Apart From Love

Apart from love you shouldn't be
Take my book, it is for thee!

★ Love reading? Download this book now 
And while you get it, check out the audio edition, too!

Secrets, passion, betrayal...
Coming back to his childhood home after years of absence, Ben is unprepared for the secret, which is now revealed to him: his mother, Natasha, who used to be a brilliant pianist, is losing herself to early-onset Alzheimer’s, which turns the way her mind works into a riddle. His father has remarried, and his new wife, Anita, looks remarkably similar to Natasha—only much younger. In this state of being isolated, being apart from love, how will Ben react when it is so tempting to resort to blame and guilt? “In our family, forgiveness is something you pray for, something you yearn to receive—but so seldom do you give it to others.” 

Behind his father's back, Ben and Anita find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. They take turns using an old tape recorder to express their most intimate thoughts, not realizing at first that their voices are being captured by him. These tapes, with his eloquent speech and her slang, reveal the story from two opposite viewpoints.

What emerges in this family is a struggle, a desperate, daring struggle to find a path out of conflicts, out of isolation, from guilt to forgiveness.

Where does the title, Apart From Love, come from?
The word Love is used sparingly in the novel, which makes it ever more precious. The title comes from a phrase used three times in the story:

After a while I whispered, like, "Just say something to me. Anything." And I thought, Any other word apart from Love, 'cause that word is diluted, and no one knows what it really means, anyway.

Why, why can't you say nothing? Say any word--but that one, 'cause you don't really mean it. Nobody does. Say anything, apart from Love.

For my own sake I should have been much more careful. Now--even in her absence--I find myself in her hands, which feels strange to me. I am surrounded--and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Alzheimer's: what does it take tell your son the truth about his mother?

And so, I charge him, “It is always secrets with you. I hate you for that." 
Which, to my surprise, he accepts. "I hate it too,” he admits. “Having to have secrets."
“With mom,” I say, “things are simpler. You know, from time to time she would tell me something about herself. She would write to me, even.”
“Oh yeah?” he says. “And how long ago was that?”
I figure that the last note I received from mom was—let’s see—at least two years ago, maybe three. It amazes me now that all this time, I have given little thought, if any, to the silence between us. 
I suppose I did not feel like telling her about myself, because around that time I quit everything. I left my studies at the Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia in the university of Firenze, after only a couple of years. And so, I figured, the less letters from my parents—the better. 
I isolated myself, and attributed the sporadic nature of our correspondence to the frequent changes of my address, as I moved often, from one place to another across Italy.
“And her handwriting,” says my father, pressing steadily ahead. “To you, son, was it clear?”
Her beautiful handwriting. It is engraved in my memory. As a child, I used to study it and copy it repeatedly, beginning at age five, when she wrapped her hand over mine, and taught me how to hold a pen. Between the first and middle fingers, she said, and hold it in place like this, by the thumb. 
Mom used to draw text with the nib of a calligraphy pen. She would produce a smooth, fluent line, changing it—as if by a magic wand—from thick to thin, connecting the end of one glyph to the beginning of the another, with a stroke that was so fine, truly, fine to the point of becoming invisible, almost. It had such a consistent slant, just like that monogram, embroidered on her silk sheets. 
But then, this note—the last note she sent me—which I can see before my eyes as if it were right here, rustling in my hands, this one, I must admit, was different. It had none of these delicate pen strokes. 
On the contrary, here was an ugly mess. The words were scattered. Some of them were scratched over, as if some frenzied chickens got loose on the page. What happened? What could possibly explain this unusual sloppiness? 

Ben in Apart From Love

After many years of absence Ben returns to his childhood home, and finds himself faced with a truth that he has so far managed to hide from himself: his mother, a gifted pianist with a training in memorization technique, has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. His father, Lenny, who has kept this a secret until now, has a hard time relating this fact to his estranged son, and during their first conversation they cast heated accusations at each other, in an explosive exchange of guilt and blame. In this excerpt he uses the deterioration in her penmanship to point out a symptom of her infliction, a proof that Ben might accept.

★ Love reading? Get this book ★ 
Apart From Love
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
 "A feast for the armchair psychologist. 
Reveals insights that can touch and frighten each of us"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I dance with abandon, with no inhibition

Shimmering luster, let me try, let me reach you
Layers beyond layers of red, all aglow
With trembling fingers I touch... Flimsy tissue
It comes down upon me, folding high into low 

I dance with abandon, with no inhibition,
Entangled in fabric, I can no longer flee
Can't breath, for now I can see the strange fusion
Now I know: this tissue is me

(This poem is included in my poetry book, Home.)

My poem is inspired by my art: here is my triptych, a set  of three oil paintings. I offer it to your interpretation, if the figures are dancing out of joy, or getting themselves tied in utter frustration... When I painted the picture, I likened the red fabric to chewing gum on the floor, into which you step and can never release yourself. The more you fight to free yourself, the more you become entangled. 

I did the preparatory work for them by drawing sketches of a nude model, who posed with a silky, red piece of fabric. Then I created a composition out of these sketches. I did a version of this arrangement in a different color scheme, in watercolor. You can see this version on my facebook page. Then I created the version presented here, in oil. Later, the panel on the right provided the inspiration for the cover of my novel, Apart From Love (available on Amazon in its paperback and Kindle editions.)

★ Love reading? Get this book ★ 
Apart From Love
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
 "A feast for the armchair psychologist. 
Reveals insights that can touch and frighten each of us"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How do we preserve memory, how do we lose it?

I picture her staring at the black-and-white image of her brain, not quite understanding what they are telling her. 
The doctors, they point out the overall loss of brain tissue, the enlargement of the ventricles, the abnormal clusters between nerve cells, some of which are already dying, shrouded eerily by a net of frayed, twisted strands. They tell her about the shriveling of the cortex, which controls brain functions such as remembering and planning. 
And that is the moment when in a flash, mom can see clearly, in all shades of gray blooming there, on that image, how it happens, how her past and her future are slowly, irreversibly being wiped away—until she is a woman, forgotten.

Ben in Apart From Love

How do we preserve memory, how do we lose it? I am fascinated by these questions. My novel, Apart From Love, is inspired by the affect of Alzheimer's not only on the afflicted but on the entire family.

Ben's mother used to be a gifted pianist and is now stricken by early-onset Alzheimer’s, a rare form of the disease that appears in younger patients than usual. In her profession she depends on her brain, and the fear of losing control is paralyzing. It takes a while for Ben to fully realize that her mind betrays her. Here he imagines her reaction when she is given the diagnosis, after many years of being misdiagnosed.

My charcoal drawing, depicting loss

★ Love reading? Get this book 
Apart From Love
★ Audio ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
“A very passionate book! Gripping, riveting, and fascinating!”