Disputing Rasputin, Despair & Other Maters That Try My Soul

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August 7, 2013 · Posted in Our Ebooks · Comments Off on Disputing Rasputin, Despair & Other Maters That Try My Soul 

Lionel Rolfe

Author and journalist Lionel Rolfe says these essays may be his final summing up. At the moment he feels they are. But Rolfe has published eight books, and he similarly felt this way after each one of them was published, he admits.

Many of his books are focused on California, which he sees as a state of mind as much as the most significant state in the American union. He has worked as a staffer and a prolific freelancers for for some of the most prestigious newspapers in California–the Los Angeles Free Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He was for a decade the last editor of the B’nai Brith Messenger, the second oldest newspaper in Los Angeles until its death in the late ‘90s. Read more

The Uncommon Friendship between Willa Cather and Yalta Menuhin

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 Lionel Rolfe

This is an extraordinary story of the friendship between Willa Cather and the author’s mother, piano prodigy Yaltah Menuhin (1920-2001), sister of violinist Yehudi Menuhin. There is currently a resurgence of interest in the remarkable American author Willa Cather (1873-1947), many of whose novels explored women and creativity. This is a personal, yet universal, book which explores Cather’s mentoring of the young pianist. It illuminates the lives and works of two important women artists and raises provocative questions about the effects of social and family constraints on the lives of brilliant women. Against the tumultuous backdrop of America and Europe in the early and mid-20th century, Rolfe presents an engrossing chronicle of his mother’s struggle as a budding musician, her tragic relationship with her parents, and the solace she found when Cather became her mentor. The mutually inspiring friendship, which endured for decades, inspired some the most memorable heroines in Cather’s novels, notably Lucy Gayheart. Read more

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