From her own experiences in the Danish Resistance, Elsebeth Schoenberger has brought forth a jewel: a coming-of-age novel set in the darkest days of the Nazi Occupation. This is a story of war and sorrow, of character and courage, all told through the eyes of an innocent young woman coming face to face with evil on an almost unimaginable scale.
Along with her novel's success, Elsebeth has been sharing her personal story with students in many corners of California Wine Country, helping them understand history and one of its most important lessons: Never forget.
Sparring with Rembrandt
By Monroe Katz
Imagine a sensitive little boy in Brooklyn, out on the fire escape of his building, teaching himself how to draw and paint and trying to express all the turmoil that he holds inside.
Thus begins the story of Monroe Katz's Norman, a gifted young boy who has lost his mother and is being raised by an aunt who keeps ripping up his drawings -- and ripping up his boyish sense of self as well. But then along comes Rembrandt, putting a hand on Norman's shoulder, and helping the boy grow up and achieve his life’s dream: To become a painter.
Our mission, our passion, is creating books
of extraordinary quality and significance.
Val de Grace Books
With wit and charm, Sasha Paulsen has produced a gem, about love and romance, about hope and disappointment, and about what life was like in the social and cultural turmoil of San Francisco in the 1960s and 70s. And Sasha opens with this telling quote:
"…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common-place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…"
-- Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Sasha's book will be out later this year.
In fiction, as in non-fiction, writing a top-quality book is no easy feat. To the contrary, it is a very difficult task, even for very experienced writers, and even the best writers need editing help and guidance.
Likewise, in this age of social media and the dominance of Amazon.com, it is not easy for a writer to successfully take his or her book out into the marketplace. And with so many books flooding the market these days, the task is even more difficult. But there is some good news:
We are here to help.
Val de Grace Books is dedicated to the old-fashioned proposition that a publishing house should be much more than a commercial enterprise. It should be a cherished source of guidance and support for its authors, first with regard to the process of writing and editing top-quality books, and then with bringing their books to the attention of an eager reading public.
In support of that mission, Val de Grace has brought together a team of experienced mentors and editors, many of them from the top levels of American journalism, to help our writers bring forth and promote their books. Our experienced team of book designers and distributors play crucial roles in these regards as well.
Paul Chutkow, the founder of Val de Grace Books, serves as anchor to this process of mentoring and guidance. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, Paul has taught writing and reporting for some 35 years at leading universities in Paris and Northern California, and he now brings those same skills and sense of mission to Val de Grace Books.
"I can think of no better teacher or coach on any writing or book publishing project than Paul Chutkow. Paul pushed me, stretched me, encouraged me, and inspired me in a process that was incredibly challenging and rewarding."
-- Richard Mendelson, author of "Appellation Napa Valley"
"Paul Chutkow is the most dedicated and skilled teacher I've ever had the good fortune to learn from. Without his tireless support, "Our Political Nature" -- and my dream of publishing this book -- would never have found its way to success. He is a natural teacher of the principles that create truly excellent writing."
-- Avi Tuschman, author of "Our Political Nature."
"Right away Paul recognized a talent for writing in me, and he took me under his wing and guided me through the process of writing fiction. Paul edited every single word I wrote, he made suggestions and corrections, and all the while I felt the presence of a man with a big heart who gave freely of his time and experience."
-- Elsebeth Schoenberger, author of "Birgitte's War."
Gordon Mott knows a thing or two about how the world works. As a foreign correspondent he covered wars and political turmoil in Central America, and then he went to New York and took the reins of a start-up venture, Cigar Aficionado. When 9/11 happened, Gordon was working in lower Manhattan and he saw it all up close and personal. In the immediate aftermath, he wrote an acclaimed portrait of how Mayor Rudy Giuliani handled the crisis and inspired the nation. Now, out of that experience and beyond, comes 10/10, Gordon's new novel about the day when America again comes under terror attack, and how it profoundly affected the lives of four people thrown together in the heat of the crisis. Gordon's book will be published in early summer.