On Saturday, September 16, the Brooklyn Book Festival took over MetroTech Commons to celebrate Children’s Day with workshops, readings, and panel discussions about children’s literature. Booths featuring authors signing books and publishers displaying their titles filled the square. YEN founder and president Bridget Marmion participated in helping author/teacher Pam Saxelby maximize the impact of her first appearance at the festival. The Saxelby booth celebrated the publication of JOSIE THE GREAT, written by Pam and illustrated by her daughter, cheesemonger Anne Saxelby. You can sample the flavor of Children’s Day at the festival in this video.
On Sunday, September 17, the Festival moved to Borough Hall Plaza and many of the nearby venues for what has become the largest free literary event of the year in New York City: a full day of concurrent readings, interviews, panel discussions, workshops, and much more. Bridget and YEN VP Rich Kelley were there early to help launch the debut of Library of America as an exhibitor at the Festival and, by day’s end, with the help of several raffles, collect far more emails than LOA expected. In the afternoon Bridget and Rich joined YEN experts Anne Kostick and Jennifer Maguire at St. Francis College for a free workshop on “How to Reach Readers” — and for the fourth consecutive year the workshop drew an enthusiastic overflow crowd. Experience some of the day in this short video.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By Jacques Sardas
An inspiring story about a Sephardic Jew’s life In Egypt during the last years in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived peacefully side by side—and the determination that drove his immigration to the United States and his rise to a successful business career
In the early 1950s, a nationalistic fervor swept Egypt and escalated into prejudice and violence against Jews, forcing many to flee. By 1956, following the Suez Crisis, the situation had become so difficult that Jacques Sardas and his family realized that for their safety, they, too, must leave the Egypt they loved. Facing uncertainty but determined to secure a comfortable future, the man who would eventually become president of Goodyear’s worldwide tire division set off for a distant continent with a gut-wrenching stamp on his passport—Moughadra nihaëya bedoun awda: “Departure definitive, without return.” Jacques and others like him—people who were considered “foreign,” or apatrides (stateless), even though they had been born in Egypt—could never see their homeland again. By 1967, the Six-Day War would result in the final exodus of any remaining Jews from Egypt—coexistence just a memory.
Without Return begins in 1930, when Jacques is born in Alexandria, Egypt, the youngest of four children. His parents—whose roots stretch back to Izmir, Turkey, and the Greek island of Crete—followed Jewish traditions but also incorporated aspects of Middle Eastern culture into their daily lives. Jacques’s family was conversant in several languages, including French, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, and Ladino. Although family ties were strong, money was scarce, and the Sardases were very poor—at times desperately so. Jacques’s father sold fabrics from door to door, and business was unsteady. As a young man, Jacques struggled, often bitter and angry over his lot in life. But he refused to accept that he was destined to live in the same economic caste into which he was born. His determination to break the mold became a driving force throughout his life, as did the inner strength that came from his mother’s belief in him.
When Jacques was ten years old, following his mother’s unexpected death, the family moved to Cairo. After high school, he held a variety of jobs and was a member of the Maccabi basketball team that won the Egyptian national championship in 1956. That same year, Jacques married Esther Pesso, whose family had roots in Greece and Yugoslavia and whose maternal grandparents, aunts, and uncles had all been killed in the Holocaust. Following the wave of anti-Semitism that swept Egypt, most of Jacques’s family fled to Israel. Jacques and Esther opted to try their luck in Brazil, the country that had accepted them as refugees. So before their first anniversary, he and Esther, who was pregnant with their first child, boarded the steamship Achilleus, bound for Genoa, and there boarded the Cabo de Buena Esperanza, bound for the port city of Santos and from there to São Paulo. Shortly after their arrival—with no knowledge of Portuguese or English and housed in a barely habitable refugee camp—Jacques landed a job at a bank and subsequently was hired at Goodyear, where he would remain for the next thirty-three years.
At Goodyear, without benefit of a college education, his determination paid off, and he rose from file clerk to sales manager. He was then transferred to Paris, where he rose from sales director to president of Goodyear France. After his transfer to Akron, Ohio, Jacques ultimately became second in command of the entire corporation. During his tenure there he initiated and spearheaded the development of the Aquatred tire. After leaving Goodyear in 1991, Jacques became CEO of two other manufacturing companies—Sudbury, Inc., based in Cleveland, and Dal-Tile, based in Dallas. Both companies had been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, but Jacques was able to turn them around so that their employees and shareholders realized financial gains that were once deemed out of reach. Jacques’s story—of an immigrant to these shores, born in poverty, who not only achieved his goals but also positively affected the lives of others—resonates especially strongly today.
Without Return speaks to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. It testifies eloquently to the common humanity that unites us and offers an evocative journey into a world where people of all colors, races, faiths, and nationalities once lived together in peace. It also reminds us that determination and hard work are the keys to success in any endeavor. Above all, Without Return is an engrossing personal history that encourages readers to discover their own family stories and draw strength from the generations that came before them.
Jacques Sardas lives in Dallas with his wife of sixty years. They enjoy spending time with their four daughters and eight grandchildren. He is donating his proceeds from the sale of Without Return to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.
Without Return: Memoirs of an Egyptian Jew 1930–1957
By Jacques Sardas
Softcover * Biography and Autobiography/History
280 pages * $17.95. E-book $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-9980849-0-9 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-9980849-1-6 (e-book)
Publication Date: May 22, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT/REVIEW COPY
Jennifer A. Maguire
Maguire Public Relations, Inc./Bridget Marmion Book Marketing
SELF-PUBLISHING CONSULTING, ONLINE MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA COACHING, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING with special interest in LITERARY FICTION, ROMANCE, MEMOIR, HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY, SELF-HELP, DATING & RELATIONSHIPS
Kera Yonker has over a decade of marketing experience working for publishers including Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill Professional, where she worked on award-winning and New York Times-bestselling titles and sold to major retailers Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Before starting her own firm, Final Word Marketing, Kera helped launch over 100 authors into self-publishing programs via Amazon and B&N with Argo Navis, a division of Perseus Books Group.
Kera’s marketing and editorial clients have been published by houses large and small, including Hachette Book Group, New Press, and Sock Monkey Press.
Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief of The Guardian, posted a thought-provoking and important essay on The Long Read earlier this week, “How Technology Disrupted the Truth,” in which she ponders the recent Brexit vote, the rise of Donald Trump, our social media filters and what constitutes “news”:
A few days after the [Brexit] vote, Arron Banks, Ukip’s largest donor and the main funder of the Leave.EU campaign, told the Guardian that his side knew all along that facts would not win the day. “It was taking an American-style media approach,” said Banks. “What they said early on was ‘Facts don’t work’, and that’s it. The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”
Viner sees this as emblematic of a much broader struggle that occurs every day when more people than ever are getting their news from social media:
Now, we are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumour, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated; between the open platform of the web as its architects envisioned it and the gated enclosures of Facebook and other social networks; between an informed public and a misguided mob.
What is common to these struggles – and what makes their resolution an urgent matter – is that they all involve the diminishing status of truth. This does not mean that there are no truths. It simply means, as this year has made very clear, that we cannot agree on what those truths are, and when there is no consensus about the truth and no way to achieve it, chaos soon follows.
What she describes is not a passing trend. She cites the contention of Emily Bell, the director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, that “Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past 500.” And she laments the decision by many journalistic enterprises to go after “junk-food news.”
The cynicism of this approach was expressed most nakedly by Neetzan Zimmerman, formerly employed by Gawker as a specialist in high-traffic viral stories. “Nowadays it’s not important if a story’s real,” he said in 2014. “The only thing that really matters is whether people click on it.” Facts, he suggested, are over; they are a relic from the age of the printing press, when readers had no choice. He continued: “If a person is not sharing a news story, it is, at its core, not news.”
Yet Viner is not without hope. She is merciless in examining the problematic business model of news publishers and is not romantic about the “old days” of news, chronicling many missteps that needed correcting. Yet she concludes:
I believe that a strong journalistic culture is worth fighting for. So is a business model that serves and rewards media organisations that put the search for truth at the heart of everything – building an informed, active public that scrutinises the powerful, not an ill-informed, reactionary gang that attacks the vulnerable. Traditional news values must be embraced and celebrated: reporting, verifying, gathering together eyewitness statements, making a serious attempt to discover what really happened.
This is a #longread worthy of your attention and time.
PUBLICITY FOR NON-FICTION AUTHORS, INCLUDING RADIO TOURS AND MEDIA TRAINING. ONGOING PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN. SPECIAL INTEREST AREAS: POLITICS, HISTORY, LEGAL, BUSINESS, MILITARY, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SCIENCE AND ANIMALS, FOOD, PHOTOGRAPHY, PARENTING.
Johanna Ramos-Boyer has worked in communications and publicity for more than 25 years, starting in the Clinton White House in 1993, then transitioning to the communications departments for Secretary Ron Brown at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Secretary Dan Glickman at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 1999, as a Senate Press Secretary for Barbara Mikulski, Johanna spearheaded the publicity efforts for the first book by the then nine women of the United States Senate, Nine and Counting: The Women of the U.S. Senate. This launched Johanna into the publishing industry and she has not looked back.
Johanna has extensive experience in developing publicity efforts and media strategy for authors and publishing clients. A seasoned professional, she has knowledge of non-fiction and fiction publishing, government affairs, documentary and feature television production and programming, non-profit organizations and how these elements fit together for cross platform multi-media efforts that combine publishing with larger projects that reach millions.
In 2003, Johanna launched JRB Communications, LLC where she works across a variety of industries and clients including the National Geographic Channel, AXS TV, getTV, Goldcrest Films, W.W. Norton, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Yale University Press, Penguin Putnam, Crown, Knopf, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. No project is ever the same.
Johanna represented filmmaker Tim Hetherington. Hetherington’s 2010 film, Restrepo (produced and directed with Sebastian Junger) won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary and was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. Other documentary clients include Gold Star Children, a documentary film by Mitty Griffis Mirrer and Academy Award nominated writer Mark Monroe about children who have lost a parent to war — Vietnam to Afghanistan & Iraq; and Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance (PBS – Peter Schnall, Director; April 2013).
Johanna has worked with notable authors including Ebola expert David Quammen, former CIA Chief Michael Morell, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lucinda Franks, Mitchell Zuckoff and the Benghazi Annex Security Team, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly, Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius, New York Times bestselling author Craig Nelson, award-winning business writers Po Bronson And Ashley Merryman, Judith Martin (Miss Manners), First Amendment Attorney Floyd Abrams, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel Technology reporter Adam Lashinsky, New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger, fallen reporter Tim Hetherington, Robert L. Forbes, Charles Ogletree, General Tony Zinni, John W. Dean and Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., Humorist Mary Roach, Primatologist Frans de Waal, General Wesley K. Clark, Patricia Gucci, Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, Economist Charles Wheelan, and New York Times bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi.