Listening Well : Bringing Stories of Hope to Life
by Morris, Heather

1 Listening to the Wisdom of Our Elders
2 Listening to Lale
3 How to Listen
4 Listening to Our Children
5 Listening to Ourselves
6 Helping to Find a Narrative of Hope, or Honoring the Narrative
7 Cilka's Story--Listening to History
8 The Cost of Listening

The best-selling author of Cilka's Journey shares the story behind her inspirational writing journey and the defining experiences of her life, exploring how she learned to really listen to the stories people told-a skill she believes we can all learn. 50,000 first printing.

HEATHER MORRIS lives in Australia. While working in a hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather met a gentleman, Lale Sokolov, who 'might have a story worth telling'. Lale entrusted the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote his story as a screenplay - before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

How to use listening skills to find inspiration and enrichment. Morris based her novels The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey on the emotional, intimate details told to her by Holocaust survivors, who were eager for her to hear their stories. In a heartfelt, occasionally self-congratulatory memoir, the author extols the act of listening as an expression of love and empathy. Growing up in New Zealand, she was taught that children should be seen and not heard. "As an inquisitive child, and one who already instinctively understood the value of the story, and in hearing what others had to say, this had the opposite effect on me," she recalls. "I wanted to know what it was adults talked about, wanted to know everything." That inquisitiveness has transformed her into what she calls an active listener, for which she has devised some basic rules: "to concentrate, to understand, to respond, to remember what is being said, to withhold judgment or opinion." Too often, she writes, we listen to another person only to look for an opening in which to express our own ideas. Listening, though, whether to elders, children, or one's own feelings, is an act of generosity and attention. For more than 20 years as an office manager in the social work department of a Melbourne hospital, she came into contact with patients in considerable distress. "To have someone listening without being personally connected to them," she discovered, "unleashed a torrent of past and present concerns." Offering comfort and support for patients and caregivers, she was praised as an "honorary social worker." Her most significant act of listening came in her relationship with Lale Sokolov, the tattooist she memorialized in The Tattooist and a central character in her memoir. She recounts their growing closeness over the three years that she visited with him and her sensitivity in helping him relate the traumatic details of his life. A celebration of human connection. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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