By Irene Wittig
World War II and the Nazis have been with me all my life, coloring all my memories, affecting my interpretation of politics and world events, and influencing my choices of movies to see and books to read. It was bound to inspire my writing. But it took time. I started writing because I fell in love with the hand painted ceramics I saw in Italy when I lived there. I set out to learn how to do it, and was eager to share that knowledge. So I wrote THE CLAY CANVAS, CREATIVE PAINTING ON FUNCTIONAL CERAMICS, and many magazine articles. I so enjoyed the painting and the writing, that I illustrated and wrote the alliterative AN AMUSING ALPHABET for pre-schoolers, based on designs I’d originally developed on ceramics.
But the Nazi era was never far from my mind. It had exploded my family, killing some, throwing others from their home in Vienna to Italy (where I was born), New York, France, Argentina, and Uruguay. My early childhood was spent changing countries and languages until we too arrived in New York into a world of displaced Europeans, many
of them Viennese. Unlike many immigrants who’d come to America seeking a better life, they had come because they’d been forced to leave lives they’d loved merely because they were Jewish, or half-Jewish, or married to Jews. Even as the years passed by, the past was never past. Anger, grief and longing rippled out from one generation to another. Finally I was ready to write about Vienna. Unexpectedly, I found myself writing about what life might have been for someone who had stayed. And so it was that my novel ALL THAT LINGERS was born.
Now that I felt like a writer, I couldn’t stop, so I wrote and published a few short stories with a twist called SHORT TALES AND RUMINATIONS, and have just launched my new novel THE BEST THING ABOUT BENNETT, which was partially inspired by experiences
my husband and I had in Uganda.
Inspiration can come from a world-changing event, or something small and seemingly unimportant—a dream, a conversation heard on a train, an unexpected visitor. In doing research for ALL THAT LINGERS, I collected videos and recordings, articles and photographs that I thought would interest readers and put them all on my website:
My novel I can be found at
or https://bookshop.org/books/all-that-lingers-9798623796721/9798623796721 or Draft2Digital
SHORT TALES AND RUMINATIONS at
The Ceramic ebook at
And the Ceramic print book at
AN AMUSING ALPHABET at
THE BEST THING ABOUT BENNETT at