The Time of Our Lives: Memories and Fantasies of a Blissful Nonagenarian by Elliot Schubert is published!
The Ardent Writer Press welcomes ninety-four year old author Elliot Schubert. It’s not often a publishing house has the opportunity and pleasure of publishing a first work of a nonagenarian author. We’re tickled pink! And so happy for Mr. Schubert. Be sure and read this warm introduction from his son, Ken Schubert, another author in the Schubert family. Then take time to read the excerpted reviews below. They include one from founding USATODAY cultural critic and cover story writer, Nancy Malitz. Elliot’s author page is also running at AWP.
From son and author, Ken Schubert:
AFTER MY DAD took early retirement in 1983 to fulfill my mom’s lifelong dream of living in California, he turned his creative energies and professional writing skills to chronicling a life that spanned the experiences of late nineteenth century refugees from Eastern Europe, the Depression, the Second World War, the Golden Age of the Fifties and Sixties, and the looming clouds of the Seventies and Eighties. With my dad’s prodigious memory and eye for detail, the stories gradually evolved from pure recollection to finely crafted allegories of the human condition. His singular intuitive ability to connect various events lent a unique and intricate texture to the stories.
The present collection reflects the blend of truth and fantasy that is pivotal to my dad’s persona. Some of the stories have only a passing relationship to reality. He and my mom really did leave their beloved cockatiel behind as described in “The Bird and I” and “Nice N’ Easy,” but they dealt with its subsequent despondency in less drastic ways. “The Jordans,” a morality tale of sex and religion, stems from my dad’s reveries after intimate lunchtime revelations by a colleague. “The Miracle of St. Peter’s,” a parable on a similar theme, came to my dad as he was visiting the basilica in Rome. “The Inheritance” is an alternate take on his aunt, who lived to the age of one hundred and was a rock of stability in a talented but mercurial family. “Barnaby’s Grandson” is a whimsical look at my dad’s longing for second-generation progeny.
The events of our lives transform the past, and the role of storytelling, whatever its measure of objective truth, is to heighten our awareness of eternity in the fleeting perceptions of daily experience. I hope that this collection will brighten and deepen your days in that very special way.
Ken Schubert Ekerö, Sweden
“Anyone who grew up in the suburban backyards of the Fifties and Sixties will resonate to the storytelling of Elliot Schubert. Now 94, Schubert has published a collection of 30 whimsical tales spun from those memories. They celebrate his working-class roots and voracious love of learning, while painting a luminous picture of the century that nurtured the hopes and dreams of America’s burgeoning middle class.”
Nancy Malitz, founding cultural critic and cover story writer at USA Today and publisher of arts website Chicago On the Aisle
“Each vignette is thoughtful and entertaining, covering a wide variety of topics and tones… The narrative voice and lighthearted commentary segue seamlessly into moments of introspection and insight… With its diverse assortment of colorful characters and an undeniable appreciation for the joy found in the everyday, this is a unique short story collection embellished with touches of whimsy.”
Pallas Gates McCorquodale, Foreword Reviews/Clarion Review
“…an insightful collection of 30 short stories that chronicle the joy, sorrow, and wisdom that surround a near-century’s lifespan… This entertaining collection mixes the somber and the sweet. While most of the stories are gilded by Schubert’s personal reminiscence, their heart and humor embody endearing and universal qualities.”
“… dramatic, engrossing series of stories that embrace small experiences and life lessons learned from them… a powerful collection that captures… those little moments that linger in one’s mind forever… Short story readers who enjoy autobiographical reflection will relish the diversity and succinct flavor of literary pieces which deftly capture one working man’s life and times.”
Diane Donovan, Editor, California Bookwatch, in Midwest Book Review
“…a very enjoyable journey… [that] seems to invite the reader to the unrestricted acceptance of a first name relationship…shares with us memories and dreams while never being far from an abiding sense of humor.”
Jerry Greenspan, Poet, Founder of Coronado Scribes, Coronado, California
“Schubert’s stories remind us of the qualities that have made this country great: patience, tolerance, humor and self-awareness combined with seriousness of purpose when it comes to fundamental principles of freedom and fairness… I truly hope that as many people as possible have the opportunity to read these tales of personal joy, sorrow, struggle and triumph against the backdrop of an ever-changing social and political fabric that spans almost a century.”
Millie Creager, Coronado Historical Association Representative on the Coronado, California Avenue of Heroes Committee