The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #96


Mindfulness

The Facts About Healing Trauma Through Meditation | Mindworks
Trauma informed meditation considers the potential for re-traumatization and takes measures to ensure meditation heals without hurting.
A Trauma-Informed Meditation to Uncover the Potential for Healing | Mindful
MBSR teacher John Taylor offers a five-step meditation for finding a greater sense of peace and freedom after trauma.

Migraine

7 Ways a Headache Specialist Manages Her Migraine | Migraine Again
Video and summary of the discussion between a migraine patient advocate and headache specialist, who herself lives with migraine, discuss important strategies in managing migraine.
What Should You Know About Creating a Migraine Treatment Plan? | Migraine Again
Do you have a migraine treatment plan? An expert answers questions like what medications to include and what doctor can help draft your plan.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

Healing from child sexual abuse is often difficult but not impossible | The Conversation
With therapy and social support, children and adults who experienced child sexual abuse can regain a sense of control over their lives.
Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse | RAINN
Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, coach, or other children such as older siblings.

Mental Health

Childhood trauma can triple one’s risk of mental illness | Hope Mental Health
New research shows that people who experienced trauma in childhood are three times more likely to develop a mental health disorder later in life.
Childhood Abuse Can Lead to Physical and Mental Problems Decades Later | Everyday Health
Counseling may help reduce negative health outcomes.

Books

The best classic crime novels | Pan Macmillan
There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a great mystery. These are the must-read classic crime novels for all crime fiction aficionados.
60 Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time | Reedsy
If you’re feeling just a little sick of the present, here are 60 amazing historical fiction novels to help you time travel.

Cooking and Baking

10 Things to Cook in a Cast-Iron Skillet | Food Network
Make everything from lasagna to oatmeal in your versatile, heat-retaining cast-iron skillet with tips from Food Network Kitchen.
15 Best Quick Bread Recipes That Anyone Can Bake | The Pioneer Woman
If the thought of homemade bread makes you want to run and hide (or you simply don’t have any yeast in your pantry), then these easy quick bread recipes are worth a try.

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My Books

This is how the plan to kill your husband could begin. You come home early from work. You have a headache. A terrible headache. The worst headache of your life. You have this grant proposal to write. It’s not finished, and it was due yesterday. Your boss is gone for a week, so you bring the proposal home with you. After you open the door, you hear a noise.

“George?” you say.

Head throbbing, you wander into the living room. No one’s there, but you hear another noise. Upstairs. You find your husband in the hallway which leads to the bedroom. He’s naked, but he’s wearing his glasses. To see you better. He’s pale. He’s sweating.

“George,” you say, genuine concern in your voice, “what are you doing home in the middle of the day? Are you ill?”

He makes a movement, backward, toward the door. Too late. A young woman steps from the bedroom. She’s also naked, but she’s not wearing glasses. She doesn’t have to: she can see you perfectly well. You can see her, too. She is young. Lovely. Thin. George introduces her.

“This is Monica,” he says. “My assistant.”

This is Monica. That is just like George. Naked, wearing glasses, saying to his wife, “This is my girlfriend.” You say nothing. Your headache, however, suddenly gets worse. That is how the plan to kill your husband could begin.

Or perhaps it begins like this:


Naked, with Glasses (short stories)

Edgy, memorable, and engagingly written, these award-winning stories display another aspect of Szeman’s talent — that for short fiction. Filled with distinct voices, unique characters, surprising plot-twists, and successful experimental writing innovations (such as “Sorry, Wrong Number, Redux,” which is entirely in dialogue), this prize-winning collection secures the author’s critically acclaimed reputation in this genre as well, adding to the accolades she has already garnered for her novels, poetry, and non-fiction.

Awards:

• Grand Prize
UKA [United Kingdom Authors] Press
International Creative Writing Competition
• “Naked, with Glasses,” 3rd Prize, Story Magazine “Seven Deadly Sins” Contest


The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

Part One: The Kommandant, Chapter One

“Then I saw her. There she stood, in the village store, her hair in a long braid down the center of her back, her skin white in the sunlight, and my hand went to my hip, seeking the weight of my gun. As the girl spoke, I stumbled back against one of the shelves, my fingers tightening at the leather around my waist. While the shopkeeper arranged the food in the bag, the morning sun glinted on the storefront windows, illuminating the girl. The wooden shelves pressed into my shoulders and back. Sweat dampened my forehead and ribs. Another shopper spoke, frowned, pushed aside my arm to reach a jar on the shelf behind me, but I didn’t move. My hand slid down over my hip and leg. No, I’d forgotten that I no longer wore my gun…”

About:

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, starred review).

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.

Awards:

• 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”

(originally published by HarperCollins / HarperPerennial NY)

 


My Other Books

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