The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #87

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #87 | Dr. Alexandria Szeman 3 December 2023


6 Ways to Enjoy Mindful Walking | Mindful
Research shows that mindful walking in nature offers stress-busting and mood-boosting advantages, plus a welcome chance to stretch our legs. Chris Willard, PhD shares six ways to customize your next mindful stroll.
Mindfulness for Your Health: The Benefits of Living Moment by Moment | NIH National Institutes of Health
Scientists are looking at how mindfulness can boost your well-being and help you build healthier habits.


When migraine turns chronic | NIH MedlinePlus Magazine
Migraine is a leading cause of disability in the United States. About 7.7% of people with migraine have chronic migraine. Chronic migraine means more frequent migraine attacks, which make it difficult to participate in activities and to maintain relationships with friends and family.
10 common migraine triggers and how to cope with them | NIH MedlinePlus Magazine
Common triggers for people with migraine include stress, hormones, what you eat and drink, your sleep, and your environment. Learning what your triggers are and how they affect you is the first step to finding relief. These coping strategies can help.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

8 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Ease Anxiety | Happiful
The vagus nerve does many things, but the one we’re interested in here is the way it triggers a relaxation response in the body and increases something called vagal tone.
40 Trauma Healing Journal Prompts to Process Your Past | Ambitiously Alexa
These trauma journal prompts are a great self-support tool for your trauma healing journey. Whether it’s CPTSD or childhood trauma, writing helps!
10 Realistic Ways To Set Boundaries With Others During The Holidays | Huff Post Life
Give yourself the gift of “no” this year. Your mental health will thank you for it.
How to Reduce Holiday Stress by Setting Strong Boundaries | Tiny Buddha
Do we burn out, freak out, and spend the holidays in a state of discomfort? Or do we set boundaries around our time, space, and energy?

Mental Health

Protecting your mental wellness on social media | Mental Health Commission of Canada
Take stock of how your feeds make you feel The next time you finish scrolling, take a moment to think about how you’re feeling. While it’s easy to miss
5 ways to better mental health online | UNICEF
Tips on how to look after yourself and others
How to Hold Boundaries with Skill and Care | Mindful
Setting and holding boundaries can be challenging, even if you’re not a people-pleaser. The key is communicating clearly to cut down on conflict and increase freedom-for those on both sides of the line.


50 Best Inspirational Books for Women (To Empower You in 2023) | Healthy, Happy, Impactful
Read this list of best inspirational books written BY and FOR women. These empowering books address the unique challenges women face daily.
The Best Audiobooks of 2023, According to AudioFile | BookRiot
AudioFIle has released its 53-title list of the best audiobooks of 2023, which are spread out across 9 categories.

Cooking and Baking

31 Hanukkah Recipes to Celebrate the Festival of Lights | Bon Appetit
From crispy latkes to tangy brisket to jammy sufganiyot, these festive recipes are perfect for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.
20 Best Traditional Christmas Dishes | All Recipes
Here they are, the holiday classics! These are the top-rated main dish and side dish recipes you need for a perfect traditional Christmas dinner. They cover the savory side of Christmas dinner, from prime rib, baked ham, and roast turkey to scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry…
Ten Tips and Recipes for a Multicultural Holiday Dinner  | Mummy and Child
The holiday season is a magical time to gather with loved ones. For many families, the holidays are a time to celebrate cherished traditions and enjoy comforting recipes that have been passed down for generations.
Holiday Desserts From Around the World | ShondaLand
Chefs from all four corners of the globe share some of their beloved Holiday desserts, along with some recipes.

My Books


The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

The rumors spread by the Camp’s inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant’s own family insist that she was his “mistress,” but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives – that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists – this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only “good” during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps — whether you were Nazi or Jewish — what, exactly, would you do to survive?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit?

Flashing back and forth through the narrators’ memories as they recall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, “Szeman’s uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive” (Publishers Weekly * review).

A New York Times Book Review “Notable Book” and one of its “Top 100 Books of the Year,”  Winner of the University of Rochester’s Kafka Prize for “the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” the tales told by the Kommandant, his “mistress,” and their “biographer” will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.

• New York Times Book Review “Notable Book”
and “Top 100 Books of Year”
• University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
“the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman”
• Publishers Weekly (* review) “Outstanding Merit”
• Talmadge McKinney Award “Excellence in Research”



As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as Szeman’s prose works, these poems let you glimpse into the hearts, lives, and minds of ordinary people — whether they be mythological, biblical, literary, or contemporary — as they struggle to make sense of relationships, family, marriage, divorce, children, spirituality, faith, and the existence of God. As they struggle to comprehend the very things each of us experiences every day.

Szeman’s themes are universal, encompassing the perspectives of men and women, adults and children, equally honestly. All of the poems in the collection have been previously published in literary and university journals; several were part of her dissertation, Survivor: One Who Survives. Elliston Poetry Prize (’83, 84, ’85) and the Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship (’84-85). Along with her Holocaust poetry collection, Where Lightning Strikes, this collection, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, was unanimously accepted for publication by all outside readers of UKA Press in 2004.

• Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship
• First Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Centennial Review Prize for Poetry
• Honorable Mention, Non-Rhyming Poetry,
Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Contest



My Other Books



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