Rosenbaum, Lisa Pearl
Rosenbaum, Lisa Pearl
Married; children: two. Education: New York University, degree in religion and philosophy; studied international relations for one year at Hebrew University; Loyola Law School, law degree. Religion: Jewish.
Attorney. Has worked at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, CA.
A Day of Small Beginnings (novel), Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.
Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum grew up in a household where none of the members practiced religion; she was taught, primarily by her mother, that the arts provided sufficient spiritual fulfillment. However, Rosenbaum always felt as if she were missing out on an important component of a well-rounded life, and she spent much of her childhood envying her friends for their participation in church or temple services, or in a religious education. After graduating from high school, Rosenbaum traveled to Europe, where she met people who had suffered and lost loved ones during World War II because they were Jewish. When she returned to the United States, she majored in religion and philosophy at New York University, and went on to study international relations at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduating from law school, she dedicated herself to working on separation of church and state issues, before deciding that she might better serve her beliefs by writing about them.
Rosenbaum's first novel, A Day of Small Beginnings, tells the story of a Polish American family as they search for their roots; it was inspired by Rosenbaum's own visit to Poland with her in-laws. Itzik, the protagonist of the story, leaves Poland in 1906 following an anti-Semitic attack on his village. Years later in America, he eschews his religion. Only decades after the Holocaust do Itzik's son Nathan and his grand-daughter find themselves in Poland, where they gain new insight into their heritage and Itzik's past. In Kirkus Reviews a critic found the early pages of the work to be "full of beauty, energy and wisdom," but concluded that "the later sections suffer from a more pedestrian narrative that borders on doctrinaire." Hazel Rochman, writing for Booklist, called the book "a stirring story of secrets and discovery and, sometimes, mystical connection." A contributor for Publishers Weekly noted that Rosenbaum "packs a lot of Jewish history, recent and otherwise, into this luminous tale."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of A Day of Small Beginnings, p. 38.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of A Day of Small Beginnings, p. 871.
Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Molly Abramowitz, review of A Day of Small Beginnings, p. 59.
Publishers Weekly, August 31, 2006, review of A Day of Small Beginnings, p. 46.
Time Warner Bookmarks Web site,http://www.twbookmarks.com/ (March 5, 2007), biography of Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum.