Please join us on October 12th at 7pm for the launch party of Joan Dempsey's new book, This Is How It Begins!

When eighty-five-year-old art professor Ludka Zeilonka's grandson, Tommy, is among a group of gay teachers fired over concerns that they're silencing Christian kids in the classroom, Ludka is drawn into the political firestorm. As both sides battle to preserve their respective rights to free speech, the hatred on display raises the specter of her World War II past.


"In this remarkable novel, Joan Dempsey brings together contemporary America and Holocaust-era Warsaw to tell a riveting tale of family secrets, civil rights, and the persistence of memory. Here are pastors and politicians, teachers and activists, historians and spies--all of them, on every side of the cultural divide, imbued with genuine humanity. This Is How It Beginsis an essential story for our time." --Matthew Goodman, New York Times-bestselling author of Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

"Joan Dempsey's debut novel explores the limits of empathy and the unpredictability of violence. Thoughtful people who reach opposing conclusions are at the all-too-human center of This Is How It Begins, a prescient road map for our times." --Mary Rechner, author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women

"Joan Dempsey's debut novel is a compelling story that seems to rise out of the rancor of current national headlines--about hate, bigotry, and intolerance. The story has deep roots in the darkness of the horrific persecution and betrayal of Jews during World War II. Twin story lines--then and now--illuminate how close we yet remain to the hellish cauldron that fear enflames." --Frank O. Smith, author of Dream Singer, a Bellwether Prize finalist

Event date: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
This Is How It Begins Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631523083
Availability: On Our Shelves Now: Please call ahead to be sure inventory is not being held for other customers.
Published: She Writes Press - October 3rd, 2017