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Bronx Writer Binds Generations of Rebel Women

Author Deborah Eiseman and her new book “In a Mother’s Arms” and a portrait she painted of her own mother. (photo by Gary Axelbank)

On Tuesday, April 17 at 10:30am, Deborah Eiseman will be giving a talk about her new novel, ‘In a Mother’s Arms’, at the Riverdale YW-YMHA, 5625 Arlington Avenue, Bronx, NY.

by Gary Axelbank

April 15, 2018

For Bronx author Deborah Eiseman the women’s suffrage that earned their right to vote, the feminist movement of the 70’s, and the #MeToo women of today are descendants of her own maternal lineage of independent, remarkable women.  While Eiseman’s new book,  In a Mother’s Armsis technically presented as a fictional novel about the lives of three women, she describes it as an “homage to very powerful women who shaped my life, who I really regret not knowing.”

Those three women are her great grandmother, who was horrifically burned to death in a presumed act of anti-semitism in Hungary in the late 1800’s, her grandmother, a business woman who ran a 35-employee factory, and her mother, who died when Eiseman was very young and was a free-spirit with a secret marriage and divorce in her past.

In an interiew with thisistheBronX TV, Bronx author Deborah Eiseman talks about the title of her new book, In a Mother’s Arms, and the three women who inspire her.

Author’s painting of her mother

“My mother was a rebel and that appeals to me,” Eiseman said during an interview in her Riverdale apartment, explaining that she was more than two decades younger than her half- sister, evidence that she came from a non-traditional family because her mother had a prior marriage.  

“She was a very powerful personality but really could not engage in raising me like a younger mother would because she was already an older woman (46) when she had me.  I didn’t know her, but she fascinated me.”

That fascination inspired the creation of the book’s trio of protagonists:  the matriarch, her rebellious daughter, and her ‘wounded’ granddaughter.  The book chronicles the generations of those women from 1882-1958 and tells the story of their loves, trials, and triumphs.

Like those who came before her, Eiseman, a retired Clinton HS teacher who has studied acting and developed work programs at Montefiore Hosptial and the James A. Peters Veterans Center on Kingsbridge Road, has overcome her own challenges, learning to draw and paint after being stricken with MS.

Author Deborah Eiseman (photo by Gary Axelbank)

In fact, the oldest of Eiseman’s two adult daughters has picked up on the legacy of the women who came before her.  She is writing her own book, works as a coach for women in pregnancy, and is interested in women’s health and rights.

“I want my children to have a sense of history and a sense of pride that they came from amazing women,” Eiseman said. “It’s my legacy to them.”

By Deborah Eiseman
620 pages. BookBlastPRO.  $21.99 (also available on Kindle, paperback).

 Deborah Eiseman is a lifelong Bronx resident. She performed as a singer and actress for decades at Vladeck Hall in the Amalgamated Cooperative and has entertained veterans, neighbors and seniors throughout the Bronx. As a teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School, she taught playwriting and stagecraft.  This spring she formally began a career as an author. Her novels, IN A MOTHER’S ARMS and PORTRAIT IN DESPERATION are available for sale. She is a frequent contributor to thisisthebronx WEEKDAY MAGAZINE.



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