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A little company with a funny name, say it “Chaynah”.  We gave the name to our daughter, an amalgam of our names Charles and Nancy.  Cha Na.  First, we gave it to a corporation we created, to run the gas station I just talked about, above. Years before she was born, it symbolized, for us, anyway, our unity, in marriage, in being Ernie’s parents, in struggling with this hateful business.  Even then, I wanted to go back to school and really learn to write.  Alas, as they say, it did not happen thattaway.

Hippy dippy as it sounds, we thought it was unique.  That is, until we took our infant daughter to a pediatric orthopedist in Baltimore.  As the ancient, Jewish doctor read her chart in the waiting room, looking all around for someone, obviously, not there, she yelled it out,

“Kkhhaannaahh Colley?”  All guttural, using those throat sounds that we Gentiles can never muster, the old lady, once she had us in her office asked us, “So vy you gif yer kid de Chewish name?”

I mean every respect here to her. My phonetic rendition is one of love and appreciation. She fixed our daughter’s minor pigeon-toed problem, simply by putting her shoes on the opposite feet, after a short bout with a rigid bar between her shoes, to straighten and strengthen the ankles.  She went on to explain to us that Chana, she pronounced it “Khanah”, was derived from the name Hannah, obviously from the Old Testament, and that in her circles, it could mean “beautiful” among other, similar meanings.

We were surprised and pleased.  We shared that news with family and friends.  Over years, we found the same name, the same meaning, beautiful, in other cultures, from Indian, to Native America, to certain ones in Africa and more.

So when it came time for me to dub my new imprint, I had to call it CHANA BOOKS- Beautiful Books.

We published SISTERBABY’S MONKEY and as yet, have not considered publishing SKULL COUNTY, USA, ourselves. It will soon go out to agents and publishers.  We have had a few requests to publish others’ fiction, but not yet.

The imprint was conceived as a tool, much as we later learned Brunonia Barry did for her great novel, THE LACE READER.  She, a few years ahead of us in the learning curve toward publishing, self published her novel, expressly toward getting a publishing contract with a “real” publisher.  She certainly did that, and we are hoping for a similar ending.

But you never know.  “Beautiful Books”.  Chana Books.  It’s just too pretty to die, and may, yet, take on other works.  We’ll keep ya posted. 


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