Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Press Release


DECEMBER 15, 2010    V.1

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a memoir by Jeanne Simonoff
A Young Jewish Girl in the 1940s and 1950s Shares Her Story of Profound Loss, Survival and Transformation

SANTA FE, NM – The death of her mother when she was just 2-1/2 ... being told instead that "your mother is in Chicago" ... being the lone Jewish family in her 1940s and 1950s Los Angeles neighborhood ... anti-Semitism ... refused membership in the Girl Scouts because she was Jewish ... being bullied during her early school years  ... being refused Bat Mitzvah in her own synagogue ....

The stories go on and on.  But many children have childhood stories of pain and suffering.  Especially now, while a bullying epidemic is emerging across the country. What's so special, though, about Jeanne Simonoff's new memoir, Saving Myself ... A Los Angeles Childhood, is the author's enormous talent as a writer.

The book was, for Simonoff, a 13-year journey of discovery, of starts and stops, but has turned out to be an evocative, poetic, dreamlike account of a young girl's experience.  Rich in imagery, Simonoff paints her pictures as if seen through a gauze scrim of the years: clear, distinct, three-dimensional, but obscured by time.

A published poet, Simonoff's works include the collection "13" (1990) in which the poem FOR MY MOTHER WHO DIED WITHOUT WARNING appeared.  It became what she calls "the hieroglyph" of her memoir.

Not until age sixty was she able to put it all together.  Like many who've suffered early and continual loss, the memoir comes full circle as a journey toward spiritual, transformational wholeness.  After decades of healing, of retrieval and inner peacemaking, Simonoff now rests comfortably in her history, her identity, her personal power.  Her Bat Mitzvah at age 62 finally granted her the sense of belonging that she was denied as a 12-year old, as it did for her adoptive mother at the age of seventy-five.

Saving Myself ... A Los Angeles Childhood offers not only a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit, but does so as a genuinely glorious piece of literature.

"After living in the City of Angels for 53 years, where I operated a vocational rehabilitation counseling firm, Simonoff and Associates, for 25 years, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1993," Simonoff recounts.  "I live in the country outside Santa Fe in a home I designed.  I admire the night skies, which I first remember from the interior dome of the Griffith Park Observatory in the Los Feliz Hills of Los Angeles.  From there, one can imagine and sometimes see the Hollywood sign."

Saving Myself ... A Los Angeles Childhood is now available for purchase directly from the author's website,  The book is being distributed by Ingram Book Company.

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For further information:
Richard Solomon
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