Hamodia and Binah readers adore her. With her unique style of writing—a rare combination of carefully crafted sentences, depth, and humor—she has found a place for herself in the hearts of all those who have a love for the written word. But up until recently, Batya Ruddell’s many fans had to suffice with just short stories, essays, and other individual pieces of their favorite author; she hadn’t ever come out with a book.
Enter Israel Bookshop, May, 2011 onto the scene—and the story (but not the style of writing!) changes. For just a few short weeks ago, Batya Ruddell debuted with her first book ever—The View from Ninveh, a captivating account of her experience while battling a horrific disease. As with all of her works, Batya’s medical drama, while poignant and tremendously inspiring, is far from depressing or morbid. Her delightful (and often downright whacky!) sense of humor is threaded through each of her many diary entries and emails, of which the book is comprised.
You’ll meet Mrs. Deborah Schechter, Batya’s editor-turned-friend/confidante, with whom she shares a unique long-distance relationship. (Actually, if you’re one of Batya’s avid Binah fans, you’ve probably already “met” Mrs. Schechter and discovered this zany but wonderful friendship between her and Batya!) You’ll get inside Batya’s head and heart, and will find yourself relating to her feelings as she is tossed about in a tempest of incredibly contrasting highs and lows during the most torturous seven months of her life.
Shavuos is a holiday of growth and joy. For those looking for a book that will provide them with all the right Yom Tov perspectives, as well as give them an immensely pleasurable reading experience, The View from Ninveh is the answer.
Click here to purchase online.
Here’s a little excerpt to whet your appetite:
From: Batya Ruddell
Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009
To: Deborah Schechter
Good morning, dear,
Actually, you will still be sleeping (it’s 4:30 p.m. here) … I can never quite understand the concept of people across the world all doing different things at the same time.
I am very tired today and GREEN, like you can’t imagine. I don’t know how much longer I can stand this nausea. And yes, on the occasions that I venture out, I do take a bag along with me … I wouldn’t manage to get anywhere otherwise. Would you like to buy me a really fancy one with my name on it, for a Chanukah present?
My red blood cells have dropped even lower and my hemoglobin is now 9.9. No wonder I’m tired and breathless and can barely walk up the stairs without getting dizzy. I’m really getting quite irritated that I’m feeling like this for so long; after all, my count started dropping almost immediately after I started treatment. Oh, well, let’s see what the Prof has to say tomorrow.
Thanks for your review of my piece. It’s funny, but I’m totally unable to see it as good writing. It seems no different (or maybe even worse) than other things I’ve written. One thing’s for sure, though: Hashem wrote it for me, because I have absolutely no idea how I could have done it. Maybe that’s why I’m unable to assess it correctly … it took so much energy to write it, that I just let the words come out and that’s all. I shall continue to ask Hashem to help me write (if that’s what I’m supposed to be doing).
This rotten, rat poison seems to have given me arthritis. Ever seen an arthritic dancer? Hey, I’m not so old. Why do I sound like I’m ready for retirement already? Ugh, ugh, ugh. Don’t worry, I’m not fighting it. The internal acceptance is still there, but it doesn’t mean that I always have to like the way I feel, does it?
Okay, that’s it for now. Keep up your good work over there. Back to Ninveh tomorrow. At least I get to spend time with my rebbetzin friend, who is a very special lady. I hope they’ll start to give me the erythropoietin treatments to wake up my bone marrow a bit.
Hope you have a great day. Did I just spend this email complaining? I hope not. Really trying not to do that. I have sooo much to be thankful for.
Monday, November 23
It’s a busy day here at Ninveh, and I ain’t happy because the Prof has run off to Australia, of all places, and we await his email with instructions to Mali regarding what to do about my blood count.
Debbie and I have recently begun referring to the Prof as “the little, big man” — because really, that’s what he is. He’s the big doctor in charge of helping me get better, but he’s only the little, big man, because, of course, it’s the real Big Doctor Who is truly in charge, and only He can give me back my health.
Funny, everyone here seems to have a similar skin coloring: a yellowish- brownish-copper color. Hey, we’re all getting a free suntan. We’re a waiting room of livers. I feel quite at home.