Fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by
“Thirty Years Hence is a powerful and heart-rending story of survival, acceptance, and belonging. Beck-Clark goes a great job of tackling weighty topics in a way that inspires introspection without detracting from the narrative flow. She also does extremely well in recreating the New York of the early 1970s…. Given the exploration of trauma, it might not always be a comfortable read, but it is an important one.”
Reviewed by Erin Britton
From San Francisco Book Review
Why I Wrote Thirty Years Hence
When someone asked why I wrote Thirty Years Hence, I said, “Because everything it’s about intrigues me.”
I became intensely interested in the Holocaust and World War II two decades ago when it occurred to me that I’d been born just a few years after the monstrous genocide. Realizing this made me feel more of a personal connection to it than I had before.
Strangely enough, at the same time that I began to learn as much as I could about the Holocaust, survivors were becoming more open and forthcoming about their experiences. It took sixty plus years for survivors to have a high enough level of comfort to stop being secretive and ashamed about their experiences. Similarly, it took me enough years of living to feel confident enough to approach the subject without being devastated by it.
I had been working as a psychotherapist both for people with ordinary problems and for the more hardcore state hospital patients. In essence I evolved from the suffering of my original family and myself with addiction and mood disorders to using my insights to help others. This was gratifying, and at the same time heightened my interest in understanding how people survive intense traumatic situations. Nowhere was this inquiry more relevant than the concentration camps of Europe preceding and during World War II.
That some people were able to have enough emotional strength and presence of mind to not only survive but also help others fascinated me and still does. The other side of the coin intrigues me equally: how can people not only be okay with torturing other human beings but do so with a smile? I hope to explore this in other works.
Before dedicating myself fully to a new work, I plan to publish some of what I’ve already written which includes a collection of short parables, as well as a few small volumes of poetry. I also have a number of unfinished nonfiction works that await completion.
Each of the books I’ve had published represent a different genre. If I had to say which genre I enjoy the most, I couldn’t. What unites my three books though, is how they represent my life as a thinker. For isn’t that what writing is? A form of thinking out loud?
Having become aware of the ‘Human Condition’ in childhood, its implicit conundrums have dogged me ever since. Besides providing a vehicle for catharsis, writing also acts as a way of figuring things out. At its best, writing elevates both its creator and reader as all Art will do.
Denise Beck-Clark’s Thirty Years Hence is an intriguing story where an experimental form of treatment has an unpredictable impact on characters suffering from a wide variety of human frail-ties. It’s a fascinating look at our common struggle to over-come our pasts, told with great care.
~ Russell Rowland, author of High and Inside,
Cold Country and others