Librarian Picks Up Fight to Publish Husband’s Memoir

Librarian Picks Up Fight to Publish Husband’s Memoir

bcsandyfirstcontainer3Over the last year many articles/interviews have been published about Charles’ and my work to get Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance published. Below is an excerpt and link to one of my favorites, written by Howard Lovy for Foreword This Week, the weekly eNewsletter from Foreword Reviews magazine.

FTW delivers compelling reviews of under-the-radar titles. Foreword’s editorial staff has a vetting process unlike any other, so you’re virtually guaranteed to end up with the stuff that really should be read! 

“Meet Sandra Novacek, a suburban Detroit librarian … and resistance fighter. Yes, resistance fighter. Now, Sandra would be the first to say that she is not the hero of this story. That title would rightly belong to her late husband, Charles Novacek, who spent his youth fighting Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia then, later, Soviet oppression during the Cold War. This is the subject of the book written by Charles and published posthumously by Sandra, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance. But when Charles passed away in 2007, it was Sandra who picked up the fight to have this work published, resisting the procrastination of big publishers, to have his story heard. And, as Sandra explains in this interview with ForeWord This Week, she fought with the brains and resourcefulness of a librarian, the fierceness of an independent publisher, and the heart and soul of a warrior.

Since Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance won Honorable Mention from ForeWord Reviews’ 2012 Book of the Year Award competition, the book has collected many more awards and honors. What is it about your late husband’s story that has resonated so well?

I think Border Crossings resonates because it is an authentic, first-person account about a place in history people know little about. The story is well-told and intimate. It’s written in a voice and point of view that people can relate to and told as if Charles were “right there in the room with them.” There seems to be a chemistry between Charles and the readers. His story is inspirational, but Border Crossings is not only a story of a young man’s resilience and bravery during World War II and the Cold War, but it is also a story of love for one’s family and country and a woman’s love for her husband—a love that inspired her to fulfill her promise and his wish to have his story told. People seem to like that, too—“the story around the story.”

Also important, I truly believe how you present information matters, and I think people are drawn to the beauty of the appearance of the physical book and ebook. They like the authenticity and subtle mystery of the cover, the colors, the carefully selected family photographs, the timeline and recommendations for further reading, etc. It’s all a part of the total reading experience that makes a story resonate.” Click on the link for the rest of the article.

Excerpted with permission of Howard Lovy, ForeWord This Week, October 17, 2013 issue.  Note: The originally published article improperly states Charles’ death date as 1997. He died in 2007.

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