Barbara Bracht Donsky, a reading specialist with a former practice for children in Oyster Bay, New York, served for many years as president and capital campaign coordinator of the Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay - East Norwich. A Phi Beta Kappa magna cum laude graduate of Hunter College, with an MS from Long Island University and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University, she has written numerous articles and short stories for journals around the world.
For her work on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, she was honored as ‘Woman of the Year’ and cited by the Township of Oyster Bay for ‘public-spirited contributions advancing the general welfare of the community.’
She lives with her husband in New York, where she blogs at Desperately Seeking Paris.
About the Books: Veronica’s Grave and Missing Mother
As memoir is sometimes a suspect genre, I wanted to address a few issues. The question for writers of memoirs is what do we remember and how do we manage to remember it? For me the answer is simple: We remember best the emotionally charged instances and happenings—especially those related to such hot-button feelings as shame, embarrassment and humiliation. Indeed, neuroscientists tell us that the more painful and agonizing the reaction to the original incident, the more likely to be remembered.
The decision to tell the story with a youthful narrator with a limited perspective, was made in the hope of placing the reader in the room with the child and doing so in real-time.
All the happenings, the interchanges, and the fallout are factual. All the conversations within took place, even if some of the more repetitive and digressive ones have been condensed. The scenes depicted are impressionist snapshots, fleeting moments in time meant to be representative of the fuller picture. If there has been selective editing, it has not been done at the expense of truth.
This book highlights a number of issues, but none more important than the widespread phenomenon of unresolved childhood grief caused by the loss of a parent or a sibling, be it to death, divorce or incarceration. Then, too, there is the issue of parental or societal devaluation of girls and women. Overall, there is the imperative that when down for the count, you get yourself up off the mat. My hope is that Veronica’s Grave and Missing Mother will shine a light on these issues and, ideally, that no child will ever be left to grieve alone.
Veronica's Grave is available through bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. Missing Mother, the Canadian version of Veronica's Grave, is available though HarperCollins Canada and Amazon.ca. (See links on the Memoir page)
About the Blog: Desperately Seeking Paris
Writers have done it from time immemorial, and the French have made an art of it. What is that? Walking the city. Any great city will do, but for this writer Paris and New York are the lodestars of my life, the sources of inspiration for my blog Desperately Seeking Paris. Come, walk with me!
So who is this flaneuse/blogeuse? Born in the South Bronx, two words long synonymous with urban decay, Barbara Donsky went on to discover a passion for all things French. Go figure.
Or, better yet, if you’d like to hear the whole story, you can read all about it in Veronica’s Grave, published by She Writes Press in May 2016. Then you will hear about the dashing young Frenchman who came to the United States to visit fabric mills in Dayton, Ohio and hung around long enough to invite this girl to visit him in Paris. (To be continued…)
My intention in writing this blog is to share my enthusiasms for my French 'finds,' that can be anything with a French twist. From a newbrasserie on the historic Lower East Side to the opening of Albertine, a charming bookshop tucked away inside the French Consulate on Fifth Avenue at 79th Street. If you would like to read more about these and other walkabouts of this girl in the city, you can check the blog’s archive for a list of all the posts written over the past year. What follows are some of the top performers.
Out and About in Paris:
Worth a Trip:
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