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Commentary on “A Love Story”

Anita Kestin

Much of what I write is centered on place and on memory of place, which is true of “A Love Story.” When I was in fourth grade, I spent a summer in Switzerland very near Divonne-les-Bains and we went several times a week (across the border to France) to the pool at Divonne-les-Bains. My parents had sent me to Switzerland with a good friend and her brother (with whom she was very close) in order for all of us to learn French in a language program. For many reasons, we learned almost no French at all. I took my children back to the site of the language program, but I have never managed to return to Divonne-les-Bains.

Nevertheless, that particular pool has lingered in my memory and has sparked a life-long interest in art, literature, and movies about swimming pools. Pools also figure prominently in the memoir I am presently writing.

The passage of time is also a theme in much of what I write. Perhaps that is because I am in my sixties! In the pieces I write, I often layer on and juxtapose occurrences from different moments in time. 

I am immensely grateful to this publication for accepting my story and, if you are reading my story, I thank you as well. This is a difficult time for the world and, for me, reading and writing has provided some shelter from the many storms.

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Anita Kestin, M.D., M.P.H., is a medical doctor with a varied career and gray hairs to match.  For most of her career, she has worked in a traditional academic setting but for the past ten years she has worked as the medical director of a nursing facility, as a hospice physician, in the locked ward of a psychiatric facility, and in public health settings. She is also the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the wife of an environmental lawyer, the mother of wonderful grown children, a grandmother, and a progressive activist. She is attempting to calm her nerves during the pandemic by writing. She submitted her first piece when she was in her sixties.

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