Five feelers to Aviva Basin Derenowski
Why do you have so many last names?
Basin is my Mother’s maiden name. Her parents immigrated from Russia to Argentina and carried their name to the New World. When my Mother heard I was writing a book she asked me to honor her by having Basin as my Pen Name.
Derenowski is my married name. I got married late in life, and I am always touched when I remember I belong to such an established tradition.
You were born in Argentina, grew up in Israel and for the last twenty years, you’ve called the USA your home. What is it with all this moving around?
Being born in Buenos Aires was not a choice I made, neither emigrating to Israel with my family when I was seven. When I was forty, I felt out of place in Israel. I wasn’t married, my political views were not popular, and I didn’t get along with my Mom. I needed a fresh start and crossing the ocean seemed like a good idea.
What about those drawings that accompany the anecdotes? Did you make them?
Yes, I did, and I’m still surprised by that. I always expressed myself in writing and told stories, but I didn’t try my hand in drawing. When my book needed something to accompany the anecdotes, I thought of pictures as a method to complement the stories. My friend Breuk suggested that I use charcoal and I fell in love with the creatures that popped out on paper.
Why “Talking to my Mother?” Why not talking to people in general?
Mother is an extraordinary being. She is the one who gives life. Through the years I’ve learned to respect my Mother’s wisdom, rely on it, and desire to share it with others.
My Mother is exceptional; she’s not only wise but caring and practical. Her advice saved my day numerous times.
Is there going to be a continuation to this little book?
I hope Talking to my Mother will resonate with people’s hearts. Through their desire, another book will follow.
Here are some of her illustrations for her upcoming book: