Award-winning East End author and graduate of Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA program, Sande Boritz Berger is celebrating the first anniversary of publishing her debut novel The Sweetness (She Writes Press) today, Wednesday, September 23.
The book, which tells parallel tales of two Jewish girls during World War II and the Holocaust, has been an Amazon.com bestseller in Historical Jewish Fiction on Kindle since January 1, 2015 when it reached number 13. The Sweetness was semi-finalist in Amazon’s annual Breakthrough Novel Awards and Berger’s short story, “The Sweetness,” which evolved into the eponymous novel, received a fiction prize from Moment Magazine.
In a note marking the book’s first anniversary and thanking her readers this week, Berger writes, “I celebrate with deepest gratitude for an incredible year,” adding, “From the magical moment a box of galleys arrived…coincidentally, the day of a very big birthday on March 25th, to my book launch last September 23rd at The Corner Bookstore in Manhattan, the response and support from you, my readers, has been wonderful and continues to mean the world to me.”
In her note, the author shares the joy of meeting numerous readers during 25 events over the past year at bookstores, book clubs or libraries between Miami and Toronto—and, of course, the Hamptons and New York City.
“Through my reviews and travel, I’ve enjoyed hearing how a particular situation or a place personally connected you. How a character jolted you back to your own past, or for some it was a particular time in our history when so much loss triggered so many new challenges…it is that…the connection, for both reader and writer that is most gratifying,” Berger explains. “I will never forget so many smiling faces, warm handshakes and the enduring promise of your enthusiasm to share The Sweetness with others,” she continues. “What more could any writer want?”
Following a year of touring with The Sweetness, Berger is now hard at work on a second novel, but she continues to make bookstore and library appearances where she can meet fans and put her book in the hands of new readers.
On October 18, Berger will join fellow authors Judy Mandel (Replacement Child) and Rebecca Coffey (Hysterical) at R.J. Julia’s Bookstore in Madison, Connecticut for a discussion on survivor guilt and secrets.