27 July, 2017

Ollie Ollie In Come Free by Anne Bernard Becker Book Spotlight!

About the Book
Is it possible to re-awaken the forgotten world of childhood?  In Ollie Ollie In Come Free author Anne Bernard Becker takes the reader down such a rabbit hole. 
Based on her years in psychoanalysis as an adult, the book is an intimate immersion in the quirky, whimsical world of the introspective young narrator. Amid the profound cultural shifts from 1955 to 1970, the author's spirited Catholic family faces their own unique challenges.  Their emotional numbing in the aftermath of three tragic losses haunts Anne as she grows into adulthood. 
 Ollie Ollie In Come Free offers  a fresh, compassionate exploration of such important themes as the toll of unexpressed grief on young children, the power of sibling interactions, the developmental impact of religion, and adolescent ambivalence toward being seen. The book recreates a lively universe that many readers will find uncannily familiar. 
About the Author

Anne expresses her core passion for authenticity through non-fiction writing, family systems workshops, and leading ritual celebrations.  She wrote Ollie Ollie In Come Free: A Memoir of Swallowed Time, in an unfiltered young girl's voice, in order to communicate the raw realities of a child's secret inner world. The book emerged out of eight years of intensive inner work, during which Anne unearthed her frozen grief over the childhood losses of her older siblings. Anne is also the author of several articles, as well as a blog, "Musings About What's Really Real," which explores the spiritual, psychological, and political depths of daily life:  www.blog.annebernardbecker.com.

Anne grew up in South Bend, Indiana, as part of a large and lively Catholic family. They lost their first three children at various young ages and through random circumstances. The repeated deaths impacted the entire family in subtle but significant ways that were not at all obvious either to themselves or to the community around them. Anne, though shy and sensitive, was an honors student and appeared on the surface to be as undaunted by tragedy as the rest of her high-functioning family.

While new babies kept arriving, Anne's mother, Mollie Bernard,  founded the Stanley Clark School, a still thriving elementary school in South Bend. Anne's father, Leon, taught history at the University of Notre Dame. He developed multiple sclerosis when Anne was in elementary school, but continued to teach until his death many years later. After Mollie turned the school over to others, she became a pioneering religious education director for many years, implementing the progressive vision of Vatican II. The family spent a year in France while Leon was on sabbatical in 1968-1969. They returned to a changing political and cultural landscape which Anne explores in her memoir.
Anne studied at Indiana University, the Sorbonne, University of Pennsylvania (M.A. in French) and Fordham University (M.A. in Religious Education). In 1978 she took a position as a campus and parish minister in Cincinnati, and married Gerry Becker in 1981. Their first child, Mollie, died at birth. The traumatic impact of this event, along with the near death of their third child, Daniel, launched Anne on a  journey of psychoanalysis to explore the hidden lifelong effects of her siblings' deaths. Meanwhile Anne stayed very active mothering her daughter Jane and son Daniel, and, after four miscarriages, adopted their youngest child, Tony, in 1993.
Anne has a passion for environmental concerns, justice issues, and sustainable lifestyle. She has been a member for thirty years of New Jerusalem, an alternative spiritual community in the Catholic tradition. She enjoys singing in Theshold Choir and Musica Sacra, a classical ensemble.

Since 2001 Anne has worked at a private learning center as a reading specialist.  An ordained minister, she presides at weddings and other ceremonies. She also facilitates family constellation workshops, which blend her ongoing interests in history, psychology and spirituality to explore the effects of ancestral trauma on family systems. She and Gerry live in Cincinnati.

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