Sunday, November 4, 2012

Update and Review

Well, I've had several requests for my complete manuscript recently regarding the memoir I am attempting to get published.  I had one agent tell me she wanted the life lessons in the memoir to be more universal which is difficult because to me the life lessons I included in the book are authentic to the circumstances I faced as discussed in the book.  A second agent never got back to me.  And a third agent said the market was flooded with memoirs at the moment and she could not pitch it to an editor.  I started to inquire if I could just go pitch the book myself, but you can't get in the door to the big six publishers unless you have a literary agent. 

In the meantime I read Deborah Feldman's memoir Unorthodox.  She discusses growing up in a Hasidic community in New York.  Since I've never known any Hasidic folks her story was revealing.  I was dismayed by her growing up in such a repressive community.  I mean, why can't girls go visit the library and read books in English as opposed to Yiddish?  I couldn't believe that she had to have her head shaved after getting married and then subsequently wear a wig.  Fortunately, she comes across an English instructor oddly at her school who challenges her on so many levels.  Sometimes when somone assumes you are unable to achieve something, you will go to new heights to then accomplish that one thing. 

I believe she thought that upon marrying in the traditional manner of her community she would also gain more independence; however, sadly, she becomes even less free.  She is sure of the notion that she does want to get a collegiate education, leave her Brooklyn community for a more Democratic, real world community, and also to ensure a better life for her son.  It was impressive that she was able to locate a literary agent and obtain a talented editor to assist her with the publication of this book.  And she is only 25 years of age which makes me feel ancient.  I think this book proves that if you want a new life badly enough you can definitely find a means to acquire it and also taking risks is essential to achieving what you want and value in life.