Monday, April 7, 2008

It's never too late.

I just finished an amazing memoir called The Invisible Wall. The story itself is simple: Harry is a young boy living with his poor family in England in the 1910's. He lives on one side of the street, with all the other Jewish people, and the Catholics live on the other side of the street. In between them is an invisible wall that no one dares to cross. That is, until his older sister falls in love with a boy from the other side.

We've all heard this story before, but I love the way it is told, from the perspective of a little boy, who lives in poverty in a household led by a brutal father, in an anti-semitic world, and when significant things happen--things that a little boy simply cannot comprehend at that age--it is all the more heartbreaking to read in his simple point of view.

What really thrilled me about this memoir is that it was written by a man named Harry Bernstein who is 96 YEARS OLD. He has written all his life, but was compelled to write his story, his "debut" book at the young age of 92, to help him get over the death of his wife. According to the newspaper reports, he is working on a follow-up.

I love that. There was once a piece in Wired magazine about genius and how there are those who are brilliant in their youth and burn out quickly (Mozart) and then there are those who work steadily their whole lives but do not discover their brilliance until later in their life (Beethoven).

Like Harry Bernstein, I hope I am one of the latter. (Although 96 years is a long time to wait!)

1 comment:

Annette said...

I ordered this book online. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done...