Sunday, April 29, 2012


             21 ALDGATE, by Patricia Friedberg

                "MEET THE AUTHOR"
                                          Hosted by the

                    MAY 15th  BYRAM SCHUBERT LIBRARY
                                    GREENWICH, CT
                                           6:30 PM
"Meet the Author - Book Talk"at the SELBY PUBLIC LIBRARY, Sarasota, Florida.
Patricia Friedberg shared the story told in her novel "21 ALDGATE" with an audience of women, some of whom had lived in England and Scotland in the same period, during the build up and into
World War 2.

Many thanks to Vera Nueman-Woods and Assistant Ellen Davis who hosted this successful April 25th afternoon event.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A note from the author

I have lost count of the book talks I have given both in the States and in the UK yet each talk is a new and refreshing experience.  I learn a lot from my readers.  The different takes on the story are always enlightening.  Often individuals share their experiences and it is most gratifying when they endorse the actual events that are the background of the story I tell. There are times when I think back to those days - think back as the mature (don't you love that word) adult I am now.   I was a young child in the time of 21 Aldgate still those days are as clear to me now as they were then.  We are all an integral part of the history of our youth.
Patricia Friedberg - April 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

221 ALDGATE "Meet the AUTHOR"

We so enjoyed the brilliant evening with you to meet, greet, feast and imbibe, as we shared views and discussed  21 ALDGATE.  Thank you for inviting us.  Thank you, Gillian for discovering Linda, et al and for the pleasure of everyone's company.
It was an outstanding meeting.
With fond regards from Patricia and from me,

THE READERS GROUP at Perico Bay Club  BOOK OF CHOICE for the month of APRIL - " 21 ALDGATE" , with a presentation by its author

Dear Sandy and "The Readers Group",

What a delight it was to meet you and your most interesting group of women and to share their thoughts in lively conversation at the recent club meeting.  Observations made brought engaging discussions about the love story between SIDNEY and CLARA and the brief encounter which led to the secret CLARA would take to her grave.

Thank you for inviting us to attend.
Best wishes,

Warm regards from Patricia Friedberg

Some of the members of THE READER'S GROUP caught on camera

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

E-mail from P.C. in the UK

P.C. I could ask so many questions. When you first think of a story you might write which will be a mixture of fiction, fact and biography, as "21 ALDGATE" is, where do you start your base line? How do you plan your research? Did you have a strong desire to write the family story? I must admit to very little real understanding of the political and social turmoil and joys of the early part of the 20th century and found your interspersing ideas and events with some basis in reality quite educational and easy to absorb. As Uncle Paul said to Victoria, he suggested rather than be a painter, "it would be better if she could write like her mother."

Response from Author to P.C.

Patricia Friedberg: When I give talks on 21 Aldgate similar questions are asked. I have written and thought about 21 Aldgate for years. As you have seen from our blog spot I've resided in many places. I left London the day after my marriage to David Friedberg a South African doctor. We travelled a bit before settling in Southern Rhodesia - I mention this because I have written on many different subjects throughout my writing career; children's stories, documentaries, film scripts and a great deal about Africa. I've never been short of a material to fill an empty page. Yet. with all this my roots in London's East End stayed with me, wouldn't go away. I started writing about Aldgate in the late 1970's - actually wrote a musical of the same name. It got quite a long way and then died on the vine ... so I let '21' go for a while. I wrote character studies, I wrote short stories all of the Aldgate 21 period. Still 21 remained unfinished for me. I then wrote the film script only to find out films take forever to produce. I am not the most patient of writers so I wrote the novel of the film which is not the way most books come about. Usually the book comes out after the film, in my case it will be the other way around. I'm happy to say the film is actually happening and being cast.

My grandparents lived at 21 High Street, Whitechapel - just across from Aldgate station. I chose Aldgate for the title because that's where we got off the train to visit my grandparents. 21 was destroyed in the blitz as was most the East End. Maze lived at 14 Cheyne Walk and remains just as it was when Clara worked there.

Clara assisted Paul Maze. Sula had MS. Anna, well she was the grievous collector of the family. There were four brothers - I used them for filling out the characters Bernie and Mannie. Sidney came from an orthodox Jewish family. The Levy clan were traditional Jews more than religious Jews. The turmoil of the 1930's gave me the dramatic background I needed, it was all there, nothing had to be invented. What fascinated me the most was Clara and her ability to alternate between the often anti Semitic aristocratic Chelsea and the working class East End. How did she do it? That's what really spurred me on and the more I read about what was going on in the East End at that time and her involvements in Chelsea the more I realised how 'before her time' she was. It had nothing to do with the fact that Clara character is based on my mother, I took myself out of that equation. And so the story developed. The Levy's were a witty, musical lot. My grandmother, Nelly and my dad Sidney were there for me when my mother wasn't. My grandfather, Henry, had me and my many cousins help him in his somewhat dicey cosmetic and perfumery business...he also taught me to fish in a pond that had no fish in it. The Levy's were an inspiring lot. They helped me feel safe when all was literally falling around us. Their humour and their inclusiveness showed me the way to live my life. I have tried to instill in my children and grandchildren the same strength of dogged purpose they gave me.

It wasn't that I had a strong desire to write a family story. It was more a desire to tell a story of the times. Of your grandparents as well as mine. Of what London endured in the 2nd World War and all that led up to it. Of what it was like to live in two very different worlds. Of how people acted and reacted.