Though it doesn’t officially come out until Jan (and the actual in-person launch will be at the Newcastle Writers Festival in April), you don’t have to wait! Bobish is now available from good book stores everywhere (and if your store or library–yes, I’d love you to get it from the library– doesn’t have it, please ask for it by name or ISBN 9781925571601). If you’re in Aus, the best place to get the book is directly from my publisher: Puncher & Wattmann
Otherwise of course the book is available through all the major book buying channels, Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, etc. Just type in Bobish and you’ll find it quick smart. If you’ve got a reading group and want me to come chat about any number of things – history, writing trauma, poetry and history, poetry and memoir, or really anything at all, just let me know. I’ve got a few of those lined up for 2023 and I’m very excited about doing that. I’ve appended back cover information below including some of the gorgeous blurbs I’ve received from my early (and rather wonderful) readers.
Though she was only fourteen years old, like many other Jews in Eastern Europe’s Pale of Settlement in 1907, Rebecca Lieberman gathered her few belongings and left for the United States. What follows is a unique and poetic story of history, war, mysticism, music, abuse, survival and transcendence against the back drop of New York City in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
‘A fourteen-year-old girl is launched by pogroms and poverty into the New World, fearful and alone. How can she know that her great-granddaughter would weave her story, through imagination and a careful reading of history, into a poetic gift to her memory, and for many more generations to come?’
~ Ramona Koval
‘Magdalena Ball’s powerful re-imagining of her great-grandmother’s life, from crossing the ocean in steerage, alone, at the age of fourteen, to the hardships of immigrant life in New York, is a vivid, lyrical portrayal of a woman that is as much an act of love as it is the preservation of a life, with its lessons of quiet courage in the face of crushing despair.’ ~ Charles Rammelkamp
‘The importance of remembering is a cornerstone of the Jewish faith and in this account of the author’s Jewish great-grandmother as she navigates her life of exile, each scene is both clear eyed and evocative, poetic and down to earth, empathetic and far reaching. A marvellous, nourishing book of resilience.’ ~Judy Johnson
‘In Bobish Magdalena Ball picks up the thread that connects us to our ancestors weaving it into the fabric of family memory and public history, creating an intensely vivid and evocative work. A narrative montage of exquisite poems, where choices are funnelled by pogroms, racism, pain, poverty, hope, and nourished by music and family. It was a deeply moving experience to read this book.’ —Beth Spencer
‘Magdalena’s stirring poems are unsettlingly familiar and eerily transcendent. The persistence, the endurance, the quiet resignation, somehow amounts to the telling of a small woman who is nothing less than mighty.’ ~Gillian Swain