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Crossing the Meadow
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A unique insight into the journey towards “the other side.”

Title: Crossing the Meadow

Author: Kfir Luzzatto

Publisher: Echelon Press (September 2003)

Genre: Fiction

ISBN: 1590802837

Paperback: 212 pages

Rating: Highly Recommended!


July 25, 2004


I’ve often wondered about the journey that we take when we pass away.  Does everything fade away or do the memories that we’ve harbored begin to come to light; causing you to seek answers to forgotten questions?  I’ve often heard of restless spirits roaming our dimension unable to crossover due to problems or unfinished business.  I’ve heard of spirits who refuse to move on, but not of spirits who choose to enroll in a job placement program to continue working in the realm between death and paradise!  This fact is the one that comforts me the most and it is a refreshing theory.


The previous paragraph describes one of many sub-plots that the author uses in combination with other characters and situations to develop this story.  There are many characters and plots that weave the complex fabric that will become this well written story.  The central story revolves around the plight of George, our main character.


George returns to his hometown after a long absence.  He wants to make peace with the childhood home that he was forced to leave abruptly.  He also has a desire to discover the origin of a nightmare that has haunted him for several years.  He meets Clara at a café and she becomes his guide.  She leads him through the streets of his hometown and also towards the startling realization that George had not yet acknowledged.  Unbeknownst to George – he is dead.


Clara and George search for the origin of the haunting nightmare and then realize that their destinies were intertwined.  They have to solve a murder case that has remained unresolved for three decades.  They utilize details from two very unique perspectives.  George is a witness to a horrific murder while Clara is the victim.  They investigate this mystery through contacts within the spiritual world and psychic contact with those of the living world.  Once that mystery is solved they will have the option to cross the meadow, passing on to the other side with millions of other spirits who realize that their time is up.


The plot is complex and well thought out.  This book is entertaining and worthy of every second of your time.  Kfir Luzzatto has written a winner and I look forward to reading his next book as well!


  Reviewed by Tyrone Banks


An Interview with Kfir Luzzatto



To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


Crossing the Meadow is an odyssey into the afterlife, a journey taken by people in the hope of finding redress from beyond the grave, by taking care of business left unfinished. It is fiction with a purpose, and the purpose is to provoke thought in those who are afraid to think of death and, therefore, are unprepared when the fatal day comes.


George, the protagonist, revisits the places of his past, but things look and feel a bit strange to him. He doesn’t really recall traveling back to his native town and when he tries to call home to speak with his wife and daughter, he can’t communicate with them. Many of the people he sees - people he knew years ago – ignore him. And a terrible dream that has haunted him for years suddenly seems more vivid than ever. Clara, a young woman he meets in a diner, helps him to understand that they are living in limbo after death with a cast of other resident souls who walk the streets, communicate, gather to support each other in the midst of “real” people, and wonder how soon, if ever, they can “cross the meadow” to their eternal reward.


George and Clara discover they are linked by a past tragedy, and they must figure out how to solve a 30-year-old murder case before they, too, can go on. However, they soon discover that they need the help of those still living to investigate the crime that is keeping them this side of the meadow.




Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I grew up in Milan, Italy and, as a teenager, moved to Israel. I have been reading incessantly since I can remember myself. As a child I was pushed by my father, a naturalized American, to learn enough English to be able to read books. I soon discovered that reading books in the language in which they were originally written was an altogether different and vastly improved experience.


As a child I tried my hand at writing fiction, but was honest enough with myself to realize that the result was worthless. I didn’t try again until I felt mature enough for it.



Who were your earliest influences and why?

My first recollection of feeling deeply influenced by a literary work was after I finished Kafka’s “The Trial”. However, it was P.G. Wodehouse who fueled my love for the English language. I came across one of his books in my sister’s room, one evening when I was desperate for new reading material. His style (and humor) immediately enthralled me, as did the virtuosity of the language.


What would a typical day be like for a writer?


Since I do not write full time, I can only plan what my day will look like when I’ll decide to turn writing into my main occupation. I am very unregimented in my writing, and I can find myself writing at two o’clock in the morning or early in the afternoon. However, a typical day should contain two to four hours at the keyboard, two to three reading hours and a lot of watching, noticing and planning in my head.




How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I started writing professionally, as a patent attorney (which is my original profession), more than twenty years ago. Besides my professional writing I wrote many articles for the general public, and eventually was given a weekly column in GLOBES (Israel’s financial newspaper), which I wrote for almost four years. I also published a non-fiction book (The World of Patents), which I defined as “a not-too-boring tale of what patents are about”. In 1999 I started to write Crossing the Meadow, which was the turning point in my writing, and since then I devote every free moment to writing fiction.




Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


Writing nonfiction is much more difficult, simply because it is not as enjoyable as writing fiction.




Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


I never suffered from writer’s block. However, the world is full of “kind souls” who will do their best to discourage you. Poisonous comments from an editor may make you want to give up. The most important thing, to me, is to be objective about my work. The conviction that a particular story was good and would eventually be appreciated was enough for me to keep any defeatist instincts at bay.




What is the hardest part about being a writer?


The hardest part is being sometimes out of sync with your surroundings, having to write a scene that is haunting you right now, when you promised your kids to go bowling. Not everybody understands the urge to write at very specific times. I am very fortunate in this respect, however; my family is very understanding and I find ways to make it up to them when something like that happens.




Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


I have more hobbies than I have time for. Reading is the one that helps me the most. I don’t believe that you can be a good writer if you don’t read a lot. Traveling is also one of my hobbies. Seeing different places and meeting different people definitely stimulate my writing in a variety of ways. Then comes music – I play the piano and took up studying the violin. I find that half an hour of music is a wonderful prelude to writing.




Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


I believe that what you need is to turn out good fiction, and a lot of it. Not having time for many other activities could be viewed as a sacrifice; but since I have fun every single minute writing, that hardly counts as a sacrifice.




What question do you get asked more than any other?


What prompted me to write Crossing the Meadow.




What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


“I enjoyed your other stories that I have read but I absolutely adore this one!  Am going to email all my pals with the website address, I presume that doesn't go against copyright law?” (As an intellectual property attorney I enjoyed the attention to copyright laws…)




What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


Most readers understood the intention and meaning of the book very well, which I count as a real achievement, because the theme of the book is not a simple one. Here are sample comments that make the point:


“This work was quite eerie, yet had some deep meaning. Perhaps we need to make sure that we don't leave things unfinished for too long on this side. We don't want to have to wait to 'cross the meadow”




“In many ways, being dead is fraught with the same perils and tribulations as being alive. You're born, you die. In between is life. But for Luzzatto, you die, you seek to be born. Is that death? Or is that life?”




Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


Absolutely. One of the greatest challenges of writing non-escapist fiction is, to my mind, seeing what everybody sees and noticing what the others don’t notice – and then turning that into a story that is tied to true life.




Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


John Whyndham, James Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Ed McBain




If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Writing is a tough occupation. You must make sure that you are equipped for it. So the first step is to subject your writing to an objective critique, and to be prepared to take it.




What kind of movies do you enjoy?


I like to be entertained and many different kinds of movies do it for me. Tasteful horror (The Sixth Sense, The Others, Dead and Buried) is enjoyable, but I find gory movies boring. I like funny movies (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles) and old Westerns. I usually don’t need movies to provoke deep thoughts. Books do that much better.




What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?


New York City




What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?


What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?


Hey no repeats allowed!





What’s the best part of being a writer?


Seeing your work in print and realizing that you’ll never have to proofread it again.




What's next?


I have completed a High-Tech thriller for which I am looking for a suitable home, and I am putting the finishing touches to a Sci-Fi political thriller. I plan to start a novel for young adults this summer, which I want to co-author with my ten years old son I won’t get bored.





Well it's been an eye-opening interview with Mr. Luzatto, we hope you enjoyed it as well. I'm sure all our readers as well as the staff here at Betsie's Literary Page wishes you all the best!