Featured Interview With Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in London, England, to parents who had fled from Nazi Germany. As orthodox Jews, my family did not fit in with our surrounding neighborhood of impoverished English people, and I have described my strange upbringing in my first novel, ‘The Balancing Game.’ My other novels describe situations connected with my life and my experience in England, France and the USA, embellished by my wild imagination. I now live in Israel, and am married. I have three grown-up children, eight grandchildren, and one grand-dog. My hobbies are reading, writing, painting, and gardening.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
As soon as I could read I was fascinated, nay, obsessed with books. If I did not have a book to read my life was bleak, so my parents arranged for me to take additional books from the local lending library. I tried to start writing when I was about ten, but didn’t get very far. I have always written in one form or another, whether for the school magazine, newspaper articles, and now books. I have a blog (http://fromdorothea.wordpress.com), where I write about life, the universe and everything, as well as book and music reviews and anything that takes my interest.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite author is Virginia Woolf, though my writing is not at all like hers. I like historical novels, contemporary literature, and any kind of memoir, especially if it’s related to the Holocaust. My major inspiration comes from my own life-experience, and I have based my novels on events and individuals that I have experienced.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book, my sixth, titled ‘A Ruffled Calm,’ describes what happens to an ordinary family when an eccentric woman descends upon them, makes all kinds of strange demands and says all kinds of odd things. The mother of the family, Tamar, is driven almost insane by the unwelcome visitor, and tries all manner of ploys to get rid of her, generally without success. Her husband, Reuben, is obsessed with thoughts of his attractive secretary. Their three children do their best to help, but their approach is generally to leave their mother on her own. Riots in the Old City of Jerusalem form the backdrop to the story.
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