By CHRISTOPHER AMATI
Annette Gendler, a Hyde Park-based author, teacher and blogger will be at Congregation Rodfei Zedek , 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd. At 1 p.m. on April 24, to discuss her latest book, “Jumping Over Shadows.”
Gendler spent a year writing in Ernest Hemingway’s attic as the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park’s 2014-2015 Writer in Residence. She was selected for the honor of working from the office of the renowned author’s birthplace home while on a trip to Israel, where she frequently visits and writes. Gendler, who writes mainly literary nonfiction, was born in New Jersey but grew up in Germany and came to Hyde Park 26 years ago to receive an M.A. in International Relations at University of Chicago. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and has been teaching memoir writing at StoryStudio Chicago for 10 years.
“Jumping Over Shadows,” to be published by She Writes Press in April 2017, is the story of how she met her husband in Germany in 1985. The man she would eventually marry, Harry, is Jewish and his family had been torn apart by the Holocaust. This history echoes that of Gendler’s great-aunt, whose marriage to a Jewish man was a source of great trouble when the Nazis invaded their Czeckoslovakian homeland on the eve of World War II. Harry’s family’s objections as well as her own uncertainties about her past have to be overcome before her deepening interest in Jewish culture and history lead her to convert to Judaism and, after marrying Harry, move to Chicago and start a family.
Gendler has been published in the Wall Street Journal and is a frequent contributor to Tablet, Bella Grace, Artful Blogging and other publications.