Brooklyn BookBeat: Excerpt available on Eagle’s BookBeat blog
By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Brooklyn Heights resident for nearly three decades, Sandra Hurtes opens her latest book, “The Ambivalent Memoirist,” in the borough that shaped many of her memories. “The broken land that was once called Breuckelen held my family’s history in every crack,” she writes in the book’s prologue. Hurtes’ parents were Holocaust survivors who settled in East New York in 1947, and several of her aunts and uncles lived nearby, moving to Crown Heights from Israel.
Hurtes got her first Brooklyn Heights apartment when she was 26 years old. Recently divorced, she found solace in writing. Her first published book, a collection of essays titled “On My Way To Someplace Else” (Poetica Publishing), touches on many themes and memories — among them her complex relationship with her mother.
“The Ambivalent Memoirist,” published in 2013, chronicles Hurtes’ experience as a single, Jewish woman, navigating her midlife years through writing, teaching, and recalling her family history. Brooklyn figures prominently in Hurtes’ story; she writes, “Brooklyn was an emotional patchwork and I was sewn into its seams.” One of the book’s chapters, titled “A Last Good-bye,” relates some of the author’s most poignant Brooklyn memories. To read the story, visit Brooklynbookbeat.com.