Read a short version of my story on the Immigrants Story Website.
The Aging of Aquarius
New Society Publishers
Live your passion and purpose and change the world as an empowered elder.
Your career has wound down, the kids have moved, and your schedule is clear…for the next 30 years.
In your youth, you cared about people and planet earth, and you had grand visions of changing the world. At some point, those passions and that sense of purpose got buried under diapers and the 9-5. Still, that old you remains alive. Now, with the rest of your life ahead, you can be the change and make this next stage of your life the most powerful yet.
Letters from the Lost
Athabasca University Press
On March 15, 1939, Helen Waldstein Wilkes’s father snatched his stamped exit visa from a distracted clerk to escape from Prague with his wife and child. As the Nazis closed in on a war-torn Czechoslovakia, only letters from their extended family could reach Canada. The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm, where they struggled to make a living in their adopted country and to maintain their silence about their past.
At age 60, Waldstein Wilkes opens a small box that was left by her father in their southern Ontario home. The box holds “letters from the lost” – letters from family members left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. The author follows the letters’ trail back to Europe to discover that “the lost” – homeland, past and family – are an inseparable part of her. Her imaginary conversations and the search for answers as she probes beneath the surface of her own life and that of the norms and values that shaped her reality are interwoven with the letters to constitute a book that was nominated for five book awards. Helen Waldstein Wilkes has given numerous presentations to audiences ranging from book clubs to large auditoriums filled people. Her powerful impact as a public speaker along with the relevance of the book’s subject matter is garnering rave reviews.
2011 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
2011 Alberta Readers’ Choice Winner
2011 Book Publishers of Alberta Association Award
2011 George Ryga Award (British Columbia)
2011 Marsha and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award (National)