Writer coming to Park City to benefit Temple Har Shalom | ParkRecord.com

Writer coming to Park City to benefit Temple Har Shalom

Marcia Fine is an award-winning author who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., who loves Park City.

For years, Fine, who was born in Salt Lake, has come to Park City with her husband Skip for vacations.

While here, the two have attended services at Temple Har Shalom, where membership director Joy Erickson met them.

"I first ran into Marcia last summer and she and Skip attended a Friday night service here at the Temple," Erickson said. "When I saw Marcia and Skip and didn’t recognize them, I went and talked with them and thought they were lovely and interesting people."

During the conversation, Fine, who does book signings and public speaking presentations around the country, mentioned she would like to do something in terms of a benefit for the Temple.

Erickson thought it was a great idea and got the ball rolling.

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On Tuesday, July 31, Marcia Fine will be the speaker at a fundraiser for Temple Har Shalom, at a private home in Park Meadows at 6:30 p.m. The night will also feature a social and supper. For directions and RSVP, call Joy or Alexanderia by Friday, July 27, at (435) 649-2276. A suggested donation is $100 and the money will benefit all the programs offered at the temple.

Fine is looking forward to the event.

"The Temple Har Shalom happens to be one of the most beautiful sanctuaries I have ever been in," Fine said during an interview with The Park Record from her home in Arizona. "I wanted to do something for that lovely place."

Fine, who writes historical fiction and satirical novels on topics that deal with her Jewish heritage, said she will talk about her experience as a writer.

"What I thought I would do in Park City is an overview of how I came to write such a disparate group of books, and to share what it is like to be an author," she said. "I’ve have three different agents and four different publishers and, now, I’ve started my own publishing company. And I want to show that the journey of an author in the 21st century is very interesting."

Fine will also talk about her 2007 historical novel, "Paper Children," which is a fictionalized account of her grandmother’s life.

"The book seems to have sparked some interest about family history," Fine said. "I am very interested in family history and where we come from.

"I am also fascinated by the immigrant experience, which is not that very far from the present in most people’s past," she said. "I’m not so interested so much about genealogy, as family stories and how we got to where we are."

Fine’s own experiences with her grandmother served as a catalyst for the book.

"I have always felt that my grandmother’s story was so poignant that I knew I was going to write about it during some point of my life," Fine said. "Even in my early 20s, I made audio tapes of her telling me stories about her life in Poland."

Right before she passed away, Fine’s grandmother gave her a stack of letters, which were stamped with Nazi insignias.

"I was shocked," Fine said. "She told me the letters were her paper children and from her family who were trapped in Poland during World War II.

"That’s all she told me, because she didn’t want to talk about them," Fine said. "The letters were written in three different languages Polish, High German and Yiddish and I began my earnest journey of having them translated."

The reason the book is historical fiction is because Fine wasn’t able to actually hear all the conversations between her grandmother and grandmother’s family.

"However, since I have my grandmother’s voice on tape, everything her in the book is true," Fine said.

"Paper Children" was nominated for three national awards, including the Eric Hoffer Award, which honors the memory of American philosopher Eric Hoffer .

"I have a masters degree in English and was an English teacher and have been writing since childhood, but I wasn’t able to take writing seriously until my own kids were grown and out of the house," Fine said.

She began writing in earnest after she planned her daughter’s wedding.

"I had so many of my friends tell me that I have to write the experience down, because I could either take it all so seriously or laugh about it," Fine said. "I chose to laugh."

Fine’s latest book, "The Blind Eye: a Sephardic Journey," deals with the survival of Sephardic Jews during the Spanish Inquisition.

"Sometimes I get requests to talk about that book, but that’s a whole other topic in itself," Fine said with a laugh.

Author Marcia Fine will be the speaker at a fundraiser for Temple Har Shalom on Tuesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. at a private home in Park Meadows. The night will also feature a social and supper. For directions and RSVP, call Joy or Alexanderia by Friday, July 27, at (435) 649-2276. A suggested donation is $100. For more information, visit http://www.templeharshalom.com.