Lisa Saffron grew up in the United States and moved to England in her twenties where she raised her family and worked in parenting support, health research and women's health information. She belongs to a liberal synagogue and hosts a weekly programme on Radio Salaam Shalom, an internet radio station promoting Jewish-Muslim dialogue. Saffron traveled to Israel and the Occupied Territories several times since her first visit in 1968. Her latest trips in 2002 and 2005 were the inspiration for Checkpoint, her first novel. She has published non-fiction books on parenting and an autobiographical article in an anthology on Jewish motherhood.
Checkpoint is my first novel. I wrote it in order to work through my own painful and confused feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Visits to Israel and the occupied territories with a study tour and a Compassionate Listening delegation inspired and informed me. I came home to England wanting to share what I had gained with others who are also disturbed and confused by this ongoing conflict. I’ve been in a creative writing group for years and have written and published non-fiction books, but the idea of writing a novel had never appealed to me. So it was a surprise to me when the idea popped into my head and took root. I was winding down a charity I’d set up that wasn’t going anywhere, and I was open to another big project.
At that time, a woman in my writing group recommended Evan Marshall’s book, Novel Writing—16 Steps to Success. I read all 16 steps in one evening and knew exactly what I’d be doing for the next year. I realised that writing a novel would be an effective and powerful way for me to express the feelings I have about Israel and Palestine. Marshall’s book gave me a strategy, which I followed to the letter. It appealed to the logical, organized side of my brain. I nourished the creative side with Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life—a guide and companion to the inner worlds.
Compassionate listening/ Listening to the Tune in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish-Muslim dialogue, parenting and fostering.
Radio Salaam Shalom - presenter on this internet radio station promoting Jewish-Muslim dialogue
Being outside in nature/ walking
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Jewish Voice for Peace
Compassionate Listening Project
© 2013 Red Room Omnimedia Corporation. All rights reserved.