Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and author Michael Colgrass is no slouch – so when he gushes and glows over a book, you know it’s worth reading. The Unveiling, a new book by first time author Leah Lambert is garnering all kinds of praise from all kinds of important people. Lambert is a dear family friend, a trailblazer whose career has spanned criminal justice, social work and education. This novel is historically based, a look at one Jewish family’s escape from Czarist Russia and its resilience in the face of a mental illness and the secrecy around it. Read on….
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Attention: Book, Health Editors
Contact: Leah R. Lambert
The Unveiling Shines Light on A Family’s Escape from the Stigma of Mental Illness
Toronto, On / November 11, 2009 – The Unveiling ($19.95/ iUniverse), an evocative, historically based novel about one family’s journey through the stigma of mental illness, launches today at The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Atrium. The event runs from 4pm to 5:30pm with a reading from the book by the author, Leah Rae Lambert, at 4:30pm.
A portrayal of a valiant Jewish woman, The Unveiling chronicles Ettie Burin’s journey, along with her family, during much of the twentieth century. The story unfolds as family members gather in Pittsburgh to share memories during the mourning period following her husband’s death. These memories re-create the dangers they experienced escaping the harsh life in czarist Russia and later the more profound struggles with the secrecy and stigma surrounding mental illness.
“The book is about the darkness that family secrets often bring with them and the light that comes when the truth is revealed. It is about resilience in the face of adversity and ultimately liberation and peace,” says Leah Rae Lambert, who has a Ph.D from the University of Toronto, and whose career has spanned social work, education and criminal justice.
The author has drawn upon interviews with her own relatives along with historical research to weave together the dreams, fears and accomplishments of three generations within a family. She presents a picture of the social interaction and physical difficulties among people in the Eastern European shtetls, among immigrants in Pittsburgh’s hill district, and among the poor in Pittsburgh’s first public housing project. One major theme involves society’s attitudes toward mental illness and the impact this had on families.
Pullitzer Prize-winning Toronto based composer and author Michael Colgrass says this about the book: “I just finished your book and found it enthralling… I didn’t feel as though I was reading a book, I felt as though I was having an experience, one I could never have had without reading specifics of family life as you portray it in pre-revolutionary Russia.”
“I could not put this book down,” says Emil S. Trellis, M.D.,Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association about The Unveiling. “I recommend it enthusiastically to families bearing the burden and stigma of mental illness and to mental health professionals who work with them.”
“Reading The Unveiling evokes a complex set of strong feelings: indignation, guilt, sadness and eventually a sense of joy,” says A. S. Macpherson MD, MSc., FRCPC, Professor Emeritus, Psychiatry, McMaster University.
Despite the challenges confronting Ettie and her family, this is a story of love, determination, hope and resilience. Surprising events and courageous actions during the year following the mourning period enable the family to lift the burden of silence and experience a true unveiling.
About the Author
Leah Rae Lambert has had an extensive career in education, social work, research and planning. Although she has published articles in various professional journals and magazines, this is her debut novel. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up in Pittsburgh and has enjoyed living and working in Toronto for many years. Copies of the book are available at www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.barnesandnoble.com. To schedule an interview or to obtain more information, please contact Leah Rae Lambert by phone or email at numbers shown above. Review copies are available on request. (Website: www.leahlambert.net )
NOTE TO EDITORS: ART AVAILABLE