Interview with Uri Norwich

1. Welcome back! What a surprise! It has been just over a year, and another novel! “The American Deluge.” Quite a title! Does it have anything to do with your first book “Russian Jews Don’t Cry”?
Thank you for your warm welcome. It Does, and it Doesn’t.
This new book has no connection to my first one, or to the characters or storyline of it. And yet,
It does have something to do with it. When the protagonist of the “Russian Jews Don’t Cry” had finally arrived in America, he wasn’t disappointed with the land of his dreams. He had found the ultimate freedom a human being could obtain. But with the years going by, the free country has been gradually transformed into something what he had escaped in the first place — the totalitarian dictatorship. My new novel explores that transformation from a prospective no one yet had done before.
2. Is this a political novel, then?
Yes. But with a twist. It is a political mystery of sorts. I am presenting this novel in “Roman à clef” style, translated from French as “A Novel With a Key.”
Some readers may not be familiar with this form of the realistic fiction genre. Let me briefly dwell on that. There are many reasons why an author may choose the "Roman à clef" format. It can be a writing about controversial topics, or the opportunity to turn the tale the way the author would like it to have gone. That Key would lead the reader to an understanding of what's really happening.
3. How would you describe your book to someone who has not read it yet?
There are no coincidences! There are no twists of fate. And there are no things that just happen.

You woke up this morning, thinking you knew where you lived and who was in power in your country. Think twice! What if the history, you were taught in school was all made up to brainwash you into a happy slave? What if everything you knew was just to program you to destroy the bases of society that once gave you an opportunity to be free and yourself. You may be of the last generation, who could ever experience that. Welcome to the end of the world, the way you know it.
4. How much of the book is based on real life?
Most of it, but not my life. Many famous assassinations had been left behind in the wake of the protagonist’s ascension. He had left in ruins large fortunes and economies. He could have the winning numbers of any lottery, but he had chosen to play Wall Street, the most lucrative of them all.
5. You just mentioned “assassinations” being part of the story…?
Yes, of course. A number of famous murders thread their way through the book. The judgement had been passed and they had been written into the history as solved, once and for all. Not so fast! Without spoiling the story for the reader, it would come as a surprise to many, what they will discover.
6. Okay. What about Wall Street? What role does it play in the novel?
Wall Street is represented in the novel as the ultimate cash machine for the main characters of the story. It is a main tool in achieving their goals.
7. Is it your field of expertise besides being a writer?
One of them. My own extensive experience and education in economics and markets leads the reader through the intricacies of currency and commodity trading. I tried to explain in a simple language many tricky ways of manipulating the markets, still making it an entertaining reading. I hear authors are asked sometimes what they read in their leisure time. I read works on economics and the markets. For instance, I have just finished reading "The Theory of Money and the Foreign Exchanges" by John Keynes.
8. How did you get the idea for the novel?
I’d like to answer with a question I asked myself. That question led me to this novel: How the most powerful country in the world had arrived to what eventually culminated in the new regime taking over America on the Inauguration day of January 20, 2009? Many controversial opinions have ventured into explaining that. But no one has offered yet a way one will find in this novel.
9. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The Novel. But the title has a very deep meaning. Remember that “Key,” I mentioned at the beginning. The reader will find it, and with it, all the rest will be revealed.
10. What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I have half a dozen of favorite places in the book. This one, for instance:
“Joe was not particularly keen on reading newspapers and considered it a waste of his time, since he had discovered they stopped reporting news long time ago. The newspaper business had become just another tool in the brainwashing machine, and reflected extreme left views of the world. Well, thank in part to him, too. There was no news anymore. There were opinions about the news. And those opinions were severely skewed to one side. The old man, V.I. Lenin, was absolutely right. Who needs guns and rockets? There were a few things though that Joe was curious about and always wanted to check in newspapers while traveling — local markets, local news and local obituaries…”
11. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
12. Who is your target reader?
Every one! Every one, who treasures freedom! I would love to have as my readers any age group and from any walks of life. But I would be delighted if the novel could reach 20 and 30-something-s, too. Those are the people who will determine the course of this country in the near future.
13. Is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I sincerely appreciate any opinion — good, bad, or any. I do not get offended. I take a note and learn. Please, let me know what you think. My contact information is on the last page of the novel.
We have published your first interview in 2013, at the time when your first book “Russian Jews Don’t Cry” came out. Would you like to offer to your readers an opportunity still seeing it here?
I would love it. That way, my readers can compare two books, and two different stories. I suppose they can just continue reading the Interview below. Thank you again for the opportunity to share my thoughts.
1. The first question back then was "What’s with the Title?" And this was what you said:
The title of the novel “Russian Jews Don’t Cry” came naturally. Characters don’t cry (or complain, or moan and whine like many do now, especially young people. The Characters just go about achieving their goal. In case of this book — Freedom!
2. To some the Title may seem unorthodox, even offensive...
The Title “Russian Jews Don’t Cry” meant to “stir up the pot.” The absolute majority of contemporary Jewish writers stay away from what is called now “politically incorrect” subjects. Their writings either pure academic and targeted for a specific and narrow audience of students of history, or “harmless” tales of events which have no connection to present reality we live in (vampire tales, for example. Not that I have anything against it.). Unfortunately, standings of contemporary Jewish authors reflect their indifference to what is happening in the great country of ours.
3. So... Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Although I am an American, I had a misfortune of experiencing a totalitarian dictatorship firsthand. Appreciate this great country of ours, treasure freedoms and liberties granted by our Constitution. But do not take it for granted!
4. Is this a political novel, then?
Not at all!
The story is written as told by a young man in his twenties, bouncing around the world as a set loose boat, trying to find his place in it. He hits the biggest jackpot of his life and lets it go away so easy. All his life he had lived in the twilight, and for a brief moment was given an incredible opportunity to emerge from it. He never realized it then. Once again, he is caught between the worlds, between fantasy and reality. It is a happy tale, it is a fun to read tale and learn about places in the world many readers never heard of before.
5. Is it a Jewish Fiction?
Well... I suppose you can define it as one. I recently participated in an on-line forum on this very topic. I couldn’t put it better than one of its participants had done, I quote: “I consider a fiction to be ‘Jewish’ if it stands for something Jewish; if it stands for something what can promote and make others (Jews and not Jews) understand Jewish character, respect and treat as equal.”
6. How do you name your characters?
As close as to their real names. In this book, some of my own family members depicted as they were.
7. How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?
8. Then why not an Autobiography?
I came real close. Realistic Fiction is the genre of the novel.
And as you may know, Realistic Fiction is a story that is rooted in reality, meaning it can really happen. Settings of realistic fiction are usually in modern times. The plots carry real-life situations that people face on a daily basis. These stories also are typically narrated in the first person.
Autobiographies tie you up to preset guidelines.
9. How did you get the idea for the novel?
I lived it to some extent, and experienced most of it firsthand. The book came about unexpectedly. I had been telling for years stories to my friends until one day some of them challenged me with putting them on paper. So I had. Wrote it in nine months.
10. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel.
11. What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of?
“The border patrol officer stamped my Exit Visa with a big blue stamp — ‘Released!’ Indeed, I was released from the most Evil Empire. I was released from slavery. I was released in the Free World — stateless, penniless but free. The sweetest release of them all! I didn’t care at that moment about tomorrow. I didn’t care that I only had eighty dollars to my name, some clothes on my back, and a couple of suitcases. One thing I knew for sure I would never be a slave again.”
12. Who is your target reader?
I would love any age group and any walks of life. But I would be delighted if the novel could reach 20 and 30-somethings too. Those are the people who will determine the course of this country in the near future
13. What inspired you to write your first book?
My kids will know their roots.
14. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Let my wife read the final draft first, before releasing a book…
15. Other than writing, what do you like to do?
I am involved with some financial businesses requiring extensive research before implementing any decision.
Also, I have been traveling a lot lately and write “travelogues.” I have written some about China, Turkey, Thailand and Cambodia. Many of my friends who read them got highly inspired and went on their own discoveries of the countries I have written about.
Published 2014-11-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Sometimes Strange Story
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 36,320. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish
A wise scholar once said, “There is a plan for each one of us outside of our control. From the moment we are born, we are set on our own predetermined road. Anything we would do could help or interfere. It may delay the passage, but we would never stray off its course. We would always come back and move along again.”
The American Deluge
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 116,280. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Historical » USA
RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING! For the past year, there’s been a non-stop barrage of this headline. Everyone has heard or seen it. Surprisingly, there was no need for the meddling. It’s been going on much longer than most people realize. It is a story of a man, who is spearheading subversion of our society, and our way of life.
Russian Jews Don’t Cry
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 287,800. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Classics
The story is written as told by a young man in his twenties, bouncing around the world as a boat set loose in a stormy sea, trying to find his place in it. He hits the biggest jackpot of his life and lets it go away so easy. If reality can turn into bizarre fantasy and the fantasy can morph back into reality, then a twilight transition may exist somewhere on the way.