November 22nd, 2006 07:29 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Glenn Frank, Author of Abe Gilman's Ending
Even when your body fails you, there is still the possibility of a vibrant life. That is just one of the life-affirming messages in the inspiring and vividly textured debut novel "Abe Gilman's Ending".
In his book, Glenn Frank proves himself a gifted author, showing audiences with penetrating insight that it's never too late to reclaim your life and create a lasting legacy.
Covering a complex landscape of emotions, this extraordinary work of fiction positions protagonist Abe Gilman to act as a catalyst for his own change. Abe is an Everyman at his end in every sense, and in the desert of his despair he reflects and finds that grain of sand that gives him the power and courage to change his life.
"The message Abe Gilman sends, one of courage and rejuvenation, is one that I have held close to my heart for years. It reminds us that it is never too late to improve, never too late to strive for greatness," said Frank.
Frank, who resides outside Boston, Mass., found the inspiration for "Abe Gilman's Ending" as a young boy, when he spent afternoons visiting his great-grandmother in a nursing home. During these visits, Frank would soak up the insightful and humorous stories his great-grandmother and others would share, thinking all the while that he should take advantage of this time later in life and put these stories in print.
Frank begins "Abe Gilman's Ending" with Abe Gilman entering the Emunah nursing home, a man who considers himself already dead. After losing his beloved wife and suffering a fall that leaves him wheelchair bound, Abe listlessly considers that death is preferable to living out his days among an odd assortment of characters who just won't leave him alone. But Abe is forced to confront his past-and his present-when his floormates decide to take on a project drawn from their collective histories.
Deftly interwoven with Abe's narration is the residents' story about Elie Wasserman, a Jewish boy trying to determine the fate of his father after the Holocaust. Elie's father was a Jewish German soldier who fought for his country in World War I and believed he could stall anti-Semitism, even as Hitler rose to power. During his search for the truth about his father, Elie meets and falls in love with a local rabbi's daughter, who has been promised in marriage to a young Talmudic scholar she barely knows. Elie's story provides a glimpse into the way Jewish families dealt with the aftermath of the Holocaust.
"Abe Gilman's Ending" will resonate across a broad spectrum of readers, including those dealing in genealogy, writing, Jewish history or readers simply looking for an inspiring tale. As Abe Gilman comes to realize, it is never too late to re-create your legacy.
About the author: Glenn Frank is a practicing attorney who lives just outside of Boston. He received the Bruce P. Rossley Literary Award for best "New Voice" for a chapter of "Abe Gilman's Ending."
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