Interior panorama of a hollow giant sequoia trunk. The patch of daylight on the left is about 100 feet away.

I can see the light at the end of the passage, but as the April 16th publication date of The Restless Hungarian gets closer I am filled with conflicting emotions.   I have lived a long time with the characters in my book, and though they were once living breathing people on the planet, they were rediscovered and reborn though my process of writing about them. I came to know and understand my father, my mother, my sister and a multitude of others in ways that I had not known them during their actual lifetimes.   That understanding is hard-won, the result of a long effort of searching for evidence, both written and visual, and then assimilating inferences and meanings. I also learned about the worlds they lived in. Budapest after the first world war, Paris, London and Zurich in the 1930s, Bolivia as a refuge from the Holocaust, and finally the United States, a promised land that fell under the shadow of the Cold War.

Now it is time to let go of The Restless Hungarian and the characters that populate it and to entrust them to you, dear reader.   I hope you will find meaning in their stories. I hope you will be entertained by my father’s puckish sense of humor. I hope you will see the beautiful, passionate woman who was my mother, expressed in her love letters before schizophrenia dimmed her mind.   I hope you will bear witness to the suffering of my Hungarian family during the Holocuast. I hope you may exalt in the strength behind the beauty of the soaring buildings and monumental sculptures that my father collaborated on.

Yesterday, wanting a reprieve from the nagging imperative to promote my book in social media, I played hooky. I drove up Route 4 in the Sierra foothills in the direction of Ebbett’s Pass which is closed during winter.   I pulled off the road at a much lower altitude, at Big Trees State Park. There is still snow on the ground, but it is melting fast.   Standing in front of the giant sequoias on the North Loop trail with snowmelt water rushing all around me I found what I was looking for. The size and age of a Giant Sequoia is exponentially different from my life, your life, and the life of all the characters in The Restless Hungarian. This is both humbling and comforting. I can let go now.



How does one take a “selfie” with a giant sequoia? It’s quite difficult.   The juxtaposition of self and giant ancient tree seems preposterous…  as you can see from my attempts.


That being said, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I did not talk with you about supporting the publication of my book. Over two thousand books are published a week in the United States, and for those of us who are first time authors, word-of-mouth actually does make a difference. If you’ve enjoyed reading the posts on this blog and watching the videos, please consider spending a few minutes of your time to do one of the following.

  • Send an email to your friends on April 16th about the book. (I will provide some sample text that you may cut and past into an email.)
  • Follow me on Twitter and send a few tweets the week of April 16th.
  • Like my Facebook page @RestlessHungarian and send your own Facebook post about the book on April 16th.
  • Write and post a great review on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads in April.
  • Recommend The Restless Hungarian to friends in you book club.
  • Host a book group.

You should already have received an invitation to book launch events in Angels Camp and Oakland. These events include a reading, short films, wine and refreshments. If you did not get an evite, please consider this your invitation and RSVP by clicking on the above links.

Look out for more invites for readings in Berkeley (May 16) and Brooklyn (May 23)..

Thank you so much for your support. I will be sending periodic updates about the launch just so you can share fun stuff as well.

Oh, yes… and don’t forget to buy the book!