Willimantic native releases first novel
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Willimantic - posted Mon., Jan. 13, 2014
Willimantic native Noah B. Goldzer has recently published “Seek,” the first installment in the Suffering of Solomon trilogy. “Seek” follows disgraced former investigative journalist Stephen "Seek" Solomon in his mission to redeem himself in the eyes of his daughters by uncovering the whereabouts of the last WWII German refugees in the 21st century.
The road to publication was "long and arduous," said Goldzer, "but well worth the wait."
Goldzer, grandson of Alek and Genia Goldsher, graduated from Windham High School and spent his childhood in Willimantic. “It was always a source of shame for me,” he said. “When I was a kid, in the '90s, Willimantic held the title of ‘Heroin Town’; it was a den of crime and prostitution that made the headlines every so often under the header of ‘Drug Bust in Windham.’"
But when Goldzer returned after college, “the town had changed,” he said. Money and ideals had poured in, producing the refurbished mill buildings, the ACT Magnet School of Performing Arts and the Frog Bridge. "Willimantic no longer resembled ‘Heroin Town,’" said Goldzer, “and I thought, if Willimantic can break out of its shell, perhaps a little Willi native like myself can too,” he added.
So Goldzer became a substitute teacher at Windham High School while completing “Seek” in a little over two months. “I was 23, and it was my fourth attempt at ‘The Novel,’” he said. “Willi and I, we both know the meaning of persistence.”
The subject matter of “Seek” was inspired by real-life Nazi-hunters such as Simon Wiesenthal and Tuviah Friedman, according to the author. “My interest in preserving Holocaust dialogue and of writing about or around it, is fueled first-and-foremost by my ancestry,” said Goldzer. “When the incredibly slim chances of your own existence ever having come to be can be so narrowly pinpointed to one event, it's impossible not to spend at least some time thinking and discussing it with yourself,” he added.
Goldzer said that the horrors his grandparents endured were rarely discussed during his childhood. “I've always respected their privacy and understood their desire not to rehash memories of the greatest evil in modern history,” he said. But “Seek” is not specifically about the Holocaust or Holocaust survivors, emphasizes the author, but about “their descendants, and the world yet to come they left behind,” said Goldzer.
As for the origins of Stephen “Seek” Solomon, Goldzer says that most people will assume the protagonist is a reflection of the writer. “I won't bother discounting that notion, but I can't take full credit either,” he said. Goldzer said he needed a history-educated protagonist with connections both in the past (through his grandparents) and the future (his daughters). “He needed to be both a professional and an outsider, a talented man but justifiably disliked by many,” said Goldzer. It just seemed natural to make him a journalist, said the author. “The rest I filled in with pieces of myself," he added.
Goldzer said that the idea for a trilogy came about mostly due to necessity. “Half-way through the prologue for ‘Seek’ I came up with the ending for the third book, knowing there was too much to tell in just one,” he said. “There are two kinds of trilogies, those reluctantly forged for necessity and those stretched out unnecessarily for posterity. I hope mine proves to be the former.”
What can readers look forward to in book two of the trilogy, entitled “Reign?” “More questions, more threats, more undying links between our corrupt future and shameful past and yet, even more questions,” said Goldzer. “Oh, and more vomiting.”
Seek is available on Amazon.com (http://amzn.com/1625530617), and will be available in other retail locations. For more information, visit the trilogy's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheSufferingofSolomon. Goldzer hopes to be available for a book signing in Willimantic in late March.