Stuff in the ‘Helaina Hovitz’ Category

30 August, 2017

AFTER 9/11: One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness to a New Beginning, Helaina Hovitz

NOW IN PAPERBACK! (Skyhorse, September 5, 2017)

“This impressive debut is both deeply evocative and intensely personal.” ― Peter Canby, Senior Editor, The New Yorker

“A moving and remarkable testament to a time that changed our country, told beautifully by a young woman who never gave up hope….” ― Sean Elder, contributor, Newsweek

Helaina Hovitz was twelve years old and in middle school just blocks away when the World Trade Center was attacked. Her memoir encapsulates the journey of a girl growing up with PTSD after living through the events firsthand. After 9/11 chronicles its effects on a young girl at the outset of adolescence, following her as she spirals into addiction and rebellion, through loss, chaos, and confusion.

The events of 9/11 were a very real part of Helaina’s life and are still vivid in her memory today. Hundreds were stranded in the neighborhood, including Helaina, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. Fear and despair took over her life. It would take Helaina more than a decade to overcome the PTSD ― and subsequent alcohol addiction ― that went misdiagnosed and mistreated. In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day ―and for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning. This new trade paperback edition includes tips on how to cope with trauma, an FAQ section, and a guide to discussing 9/11 with children.

“Inspirational, courageous and beautifully told. After 9/11 is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.” ― Cathy Free, correspondent, PEOPLE magazine

“This impressive debut is both deeply evocative and intensely personal.” ― Peter Canby, Senior Editor, The New Yorker

“A moving and remarkable testament to a time that changed our country, told beautifully by a young woman who never gave up hope that she could reclaim her life, no matter how grim things looked.” ― Sean Elder, contributor, Newsweek


10 October, 2016

Where I Write: Helaina Hovitz

I carry a small notebook in my purse literally everywhere I go (I can’t sit still for long without jotting something down, and if I don’t have my notebook on me, I use my phone’s notepad) but there is one place my laptop stays parked, ironically, and that is in my home office. In a recent, previous life, this was the room where my grandma and I used to escape into our own little world.

Photo: Justin McCallum

Photo: Justin McCallum

My grandmother was the light of my life and every single moment we spent together during my childhood was euphoric in its joy and happiness, always blanketed in unconditional love. The room itself looks quite different now,  but as I sit here writing, I can still “see” the giant bin of books in the corner, the ones we’d read over and over, the recliner chair we’d cuddle in as we read them, and my drawings taped up all over the walls around us.
The one thing that remains from the original room is the framed photo of me smiling in my Kindergarten school picture, which I keep propped up on the windowsill, because that’s where we used to sit as 5:30 drew near and we waited for my mom to come home from work. Grandma would stand behind me with her hand supporting my back, and when I saw my mother, I’d yell “Mommmayyy!” and grandma would laugh because of the way it startled other passers-by.
This is the room where she would coo over everything I presented to her, drawings, stories, plays, and told me, “You’re going to be something special one day.” I hope I’m proving her right.
–Helaina Hovitz, Author of AFTER 9/11: One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness to a New Beginning

7 September, 2016

AFTER 9/11: One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness

Helaina Hovitz was twelve years old and in middle school three blocks away when the World Trade Center was 41yJLsdN4ELHovitzattacked. Her memoir encapsulates the journey of a girl growing up with PTSD after living through the events firsthand, chronicling its effects on a young girl at the outset of adolescence and following her as she spirals into addiction and rebellion, through loss, chaos, and confusion.

The events and experiences that are now common knowledge to everyone were a very real part of Helaina’s life and are still as vivid in her memory today: the sickening thud of falling bodies hitting cars, the crumbling towers, running for her life as she tried to get home, her universe literally engulfed in a cloud. Hundreds, including Helaina, were stranded in the neighborhood, also just blocks from the towers, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. For fear of subsequent attacks, not to mention the toxic substances in the air, everyone was urged to stay inside their debris-filled apartments.

Anyone who has survived a horrific event knows that just because a body remains in motion does not mean everything will simply “go back to normal.” The chemistry of the brain and the body changes, impacting our relationships, our choices, and how we experience the world around us. Yet, we rarely find out what actually happens to people as they try to move on from a life-threatening experience—especially children, who are just beginning to develop an understanding of the world around them.

It would take Helaina more than a decade to overcome the PTSD — and subsequent alcohol addiction — that went misdiagnosed and mistreated for so many years. In many ways, After 9/11:  One Girl’s Journey Through Darkness to a New Beginning is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day. And for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to start over.

“Hovitz shows us, for the first time, what it was like for families in New York City who suddenly had to live like other war refugees, with no idea where their loved ones were or when the next attack might come. After 9/11 is a moving and remarkable testament to a time that changed our country, told beautifully by a young woman who never gave up hope that she could reclaim her life, no matter how grim things looked.”
–Sean Elder, Newsweek
“Hovitz’s memoir is distinctive and larger than her own experience. Through her engaging and beautifully crafted narrative, we see the lasting scars that have lingered on so many of us.” — Ilana Masad, Read it Forward
 
Hovitz had the grit, determination and resources to pull herself out of the morass of PTSD. She has rendered a valuable service in adding her voice to the memory of this momentous interstice in world history.”Janet Levine, New York Journal of Books
Helaina Hovitz is a journalist and editor, specializing in positive and inspiring stories. She has written for the “New York Times,” “Salon,” “The New York Observer,” “Forbes,” “Marie Claire,” “Huffington Post,” “Teen Vogue,” and “Newsday.” She is hard at work on her latest venture, a news service called Headlines for the Hopeful. She lives with her fiance and their rescue dog, Wiley.

18 September, 2015

THAT GIRL: A Memoir of 9/11, Helaina Hovitz

Helaina Hovitz was 12 when the towers came down in her neighborhood.  The horrifying images and aftermath derailed her family’s life, and Hovitz spiraled into depression, addiction and self-harming behaviors–until she came out the other end. Her memoir of post-traumatic stress, resilience and healing is the first to shed light on this event from a young person’s perspective. (Carrell Books/Skyhorse Publishing, World Rights, Fall 2016)