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Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant

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Timing perfect as North Brunswick author pens story about unemployment
by Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, February 19, 2009
Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2009

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Virginia and Donna DeBerry and Grant

Birmingham News- Painful layoff becomes fodder for novel
What Doesn't Kill You
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Sacramento Book Review
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That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may have coined the phrase in the 19th century, but given the state of today's economy, many people may find it especially applicable to their lives. North Brunswick author Virginia DeBerry believes that it is also the perfect sentiment and title for her new novel, "What Doesn't Kill You.'

Timing perfect as North Brunswick author pens story about unemployment

By AVA GACSER
Staff Writer

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may have coined the phrase in the 19th century, but given the state of today's economy, many people may find it especially applicable to their lives. North Brunswick author Virginia DeBerry believes that it is also the perfect sentiment — and title — for her new novel, "What Doesn't Kill You.'

The book, released this month by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., tells the tale of a divorced 40-something Central Jersey single mother named Tee who finds herself unemployed after working for the same company her entire adult life.

"It never occurred to (Tee) that she would have to look for another job,' explains DeBerry. "She doesn't know how to look for another job. ... She goes through the whole range of trying to readjust herself and trying to keep a stiff upper lip.'

The book was inspired in part by a time five years ago when the relationship DeBerry and her writing partner (and the book's co-author) Donna Grant had with their publisher came to an end. Not surprisingly, some of the incidents Tee goes through in the novel are taken directly from DeBerry's experiences during that difficult time.

"There were days that I didn't want to write anymore,' DeBerry says. "(I thought) "This is not where I am supposed to be at this place in my life in this place in my career' ... There were days when I didn't want to go anywhere, and I didn't want to talk to anyone. I'm a very gregarious, outgoing, social kind of person, and I was absolutely not myself.

"This is perhaps the most personal of all the books that we have written.'

Interestingly enough, "What Doesn't Kill You' was penned before the country's economy started to tank. Its release was delayed a year, which makes it more timely than ever.

"Sometimes the hand of grace and serendipity just reaches in, and there you have it,' says DeBerry. "Because the timing is exactly right for this particular story.'

While "What Doesn't Kill You' addresses a serious subject, DeBerry stresses that it is not all doom and gloom.

"(Tee) does come out the other side with a much better awareness of who she is, what friendship really means, what family is all about and what she really wants out of life,' she says. "It's a whole new perspective — which she would never have had had this not happened.'

Apparently, Publisher's Weekly agrees, describing the novel as "the anti-pity party: snappy, fun and inspiring.'

 



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