In November 2011, I drafted a genealogical memoir, piecing together 20 years of research conducted in cramped libraries, intimidating archives, and through the efforts of hired researchers in Europe.
In the fall of 2015, I took a part of that memoir and developed a book proposal, focusing on my search for the grandmother I never knew. Since then I’ve been working on chapters as standalone essays. In the process, I’m discovering new information (like finding out that my great-grandfather came to America with his younger brother in 1893—he didn’t stay. If he had, my grandmother’s family could have been spared their deaths in the Holocaust). My cousin sent me photos of a three-foot high, gold-framed wedding portrait of my grandparents. I’ve reconnected with second and third cousins and finally sent in my DNA kit. My resulting essays have found homes in literary publications such as The Manifest-Station, South 85, Poor Yorick, The Smart Set, Jewish Literary Journal, and others.
I’m so excited about this process that I’d like to offer a six-week online course for The Whole Megillah readers. Through guided prompts, I’ll help you mine your memories about places, events, people, and objects significant in your life. I’ll help you develop character, setting, and scene to make your memories come alive. And perhaps if you’re like me, you’ll gain new insights into those memories.
The course will begin April 15 and the fee is $300. A 15-page manuscript critique is available for an additional $50. The course takes place on a private, secure website. You do not have to be “present” at any particular time and you can go at your own pace.
Join me on this journey! Send an email to me at barbarakrasner(at)att(dot)net or comment below if interested.