After many fruitful years as a businessman, Alan started on this new career path as a fiction writer at a time some people are retiring. When asked why, Fleishman said, tongue in cheek, "I just wasn't finished adding to my resume." The writer was quite surprised by the success of his first two novels, Goliath's Head and A Fine September Morning, so he kept on writing. His newest novel, Lara's Shadow, is a compelling piece of historical fiction that tells the love story of a Jewish American Army officer and a German woman caught in post-Holocaust hate.
Like the main character in Lara's Shadow, Fleishman is a Jew who served in a tank battalion in Germany at the height of the Cold War. The military tensions with the Soviet Union, and the tensions between the American soldiers and their German hosts provided grist for an intriguing novel. But his new novel is not autobiographical, Fleishman insists, though he drew heavily on his own experiences. "I never even knew anyone like Eli Schneider or Lara Kohler. I wish I had. They're very interesting characters."
In a more serious vein, the author insists he has too many ideas for more stories to stop now. "Writing brings me enormous satisfaction when I give a presentation and see how people react, or I receive a piece of fan mail, or get a good review on Amazon. Every reader brings a little bit of his or her own unique person to the reading and interpretation of a novel. They see the books I write through their own eyes and experiences, not mine. I'm still developing as a writer of fiction, but I think I might be getting better at it."
Prior to beginning his writing career, he was a marketing consultant, senior corporate executive, university adjunct faculty, corporate board member, community volunteer, and an officer in the U.S. Army. Fleishman hails from Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Berwick High School and Dickinson College with honors.
Today Alan lives with his wife Ann and Siberian cat, Pasha, high on a hill in San Carlos, California overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Where to find Alan Fleishman online
Where to buy in print
by Alan Fleishman
Germany 1963: Eli Schneider hates Germans as hard as anyone can hate. And for good reason. Then he falls in love with one of them. Lara's Shadow is a love story full of perplexities that strain the limits of atonement and forgiveness. It probes the mixture of good with evil, and the visitation of parents' guilt on their children.
A Fine September Morning
by Alan Fleishman
In a Russian 1905 anti-Jewish riot, Avi shoots the mob leader and must flee to America. His family follows, except his brother Lieb, who refuses. In ensuing years, Avi lives the American dream. Lieb lives Russia’s nightmare. When Stalin’s purges ensnare his family, Lieb sees he must escape, but all avenues are blocked, and Hitler’s armies threaten. Only his American brother can rescue him.
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Smashwords book reviews by Alan Fleishman
- Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1)
on March 11, 2010
Sentence of Marriage is fabulously written. It has the feel, though not the plot, of Leon Uris's Redemption or Colleen McCullough’s Thornbirds. Right from the start, the descriptions are so rich, touching every sense. The images are vivid. And we come quickly to care about these characters. The reader can picture and feel the setting in time and place. You understand the rugged life and hard labor of rural New Zealand in the 1880’s.
With Amy, Lizzie, and all of the characters, I felt I got to understand them quickly, with an economy of words that is very sophisticated writing. The scene when Frank asks Arthur for permission to marry Lizzie is wonderful. You can feel Frank's discomfort and Arthur playing with him a bit. The reader is pretty sure Frank is going to muster the courage to ask for Lizzie's hand, but there's just that little doubt. It's a perfect balance of tension. The last scene in Chapter 25, when a revelation throws Amy's family into crisis, is just terrific writing.
Sentence of Marriage should occupy a permanent place on everyone’s e-bookshelf.