By Gui Oliveira
Longtime Richmond District resident Linda Lewin wrote a children’s story titled Flowers For Jenny. The story was illustrated by Sudesha Shrestha and is the sixth book written by Lewin.
Lewin, originally from New Jersey, moved to New York City as an adult where she worked for the publishing house Simon and Schuster as a senior editor of books for young adults. When she was in her 30s, she started writing children’s books.
While looking for ads for editorial work while living in Philadelphia, she noticed an ad for writers for the very young and she thought “Oh, that’s me.”
She wrote a sample “fable-like” story about animals and sent it to them. They liked it and asked her to write a book. Fun-to-Read Animal Stories, an anthology of 14 stories, was then printed and sold for $1.
Flowers for Jenny is based on Lewin’s own life from when she spent a summer in Venice, California as an adult living on Nowita Place, a charming walkway where no cars go that is lined with an abundance of flowers. The book’s main character, Jenny, moves to New York City from Los Angeles leaving behind her dog, best friend and the lovely flowers along Nowita Place. The stark contrast of the densely populated and boisterous city leaves Jenny feeling melancholy, with no flowers anywhere to be seen. The story takes off when Jenny has to find new things in the big city that would cheer her up.
“At the end of summer, or soon after, I had to go back to New York and I got really depressed because New York seemed so dismal, dark and depressing.”
Lewin has settled down in the Richmond where she has lived for the past 20 years. She’s only blocks away from some of the most beautiful outdoor attractions the City has to offer. Living near Lands End, Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park makes it easy for her to get to and from some of her favorite places.
Now retired, Lewin volunteers at the Shalom school, reading to children during story time. She has also joined a children’s writers meetup group.
Lewin’s other books include Animal Stories, Pioneer Women of California, Tiny and Toony Teeth, The Spiders’ Journey: A Modern- Day Myth. and She also edited Dear Ma: Mother’s Day Letters by Albert Lewin, Hollywood Film Innovator..
‘Flowers for Jenny’ is available at Folio Books in Noe Valley and Charlie’s Corner Bookstore in the Castro as well as Amazon books.