I admit, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. You write a book, you research and research and research and you wring your hands, hoping you are able to bring honor to the person, and to the life that has inspired you, that is your story’s subject. Wringing hands doesn’t actually do anyone any good, so you research more, deeper, and you revise and revise and revise and revise.
And then you send the book out there; you wish it well on its journey, and as my literary agency likes to say, you wish it into the hearts of readers. AUDACITY went out into the world on January 8, 2015. A year and a week later, a flood of announcements washed in. AUDACITY has been honored with the following:
YALSA Books for Young Adults list (a Top 10 pick!)
Amelia Bloomer List (a compilation of the best feminist titles from this year)
Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book list (from the discerning BCCB)
and last, but certainly not least, a shiny sticker from the Jewish Book Council
I have a locket that I wore to the Audacity book launch a year ago, with a picture of Clara inside. On days when I need to be brave or bold, or when I need to step outside myself and the minutiae of daily life that so easily overtakes us to remember our real purpose here–to make the world a more just, joyful, loving place–I wear the locket. I’m wearing it now.
I am humbled and honored and so very grateful for these awards and accolades. But this book and the recognition it is getting is about so much more than me. It’s about my agent, who insisted this story had to be told when I was beginning to doubt. It’s about my editor, who brings passion and absolute commitment to the stories she chooses. It’s about the Philomel Books family and the larger Penguin Group who designed, copyedited, vetted and championed this book, who gave it a stunning cover and enthusiastically shared it with the world.
And more than any of us, it’s about Clara: her descendants, her story, her struggle, her legacy. May she and those who fought with her on behalf of all of us never be forgotten.