Faye Kufahl, Welcome to Spotlight live, first of all apologies for the confusion with the time of the interview, please introduce your book to our audience at the start of this interview, and tell us a little about yourself as well?
Faye Kufahl Hello Shah. thanks for having me. I am an author, social worker and professional speaker. I am an expert on teaching people how to have more compassion toward other people. My books are about compassion. I have 2 books out.
Shah Fazli Can you give us the title of the book you want to talk about, and also a little information about that book please?
Faye Kufahl My first book that I wrote called "Nutterville...and Other True Stories of Coping with Mental Illness" Nutterville is more than my home town, it is also a memoir about a girl who at the age of 11, had her sister is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. it is a story about overcoming many obsticles of her youth. Nutterville is a small town in Central Wisconsin, USA. I am told that once a person reads this book, the story stays with you for the rest of your life. it is heart warming
Shah Fazli Thanks a lot, what happens to the girl, what does she have to go through, we know people with mental illness, can you describe a few symptoms from your particular book please?
Faye Kufahl The little girl lives a very simple life in Nutterville. when she turned aroudn 11 years old, her sister who was 14 years older than herself, began to ask her if she heard and saw the things that the sister saw. the little girl had to reassure her that she did not. .. it is poignant and deeply moving.
Shah Fazli It certainly is, who is the center character in your book from these two girls, is it the sister with the illness, or both?
Faye Kufahl the book absolutely centers around the little girl, and the world is seen through her eyes.
Shah Fazli Thank you, but the rest of her family, her parents, have you written certain things about them as well, or it is totally that girl and her visions from her difficult world?
Faye Kufahl Oh... The book talks about her mom, her dad, the small town. the fact that her uncle was the pastor, her mom the church organist, her dad the church janitor, her aunt was her school teacher. she attended a one room school with all eight grades in that one room! she had no indoor plumbing until she was a bit older in life. the book describes her rambling big old home that was moved down into the swamp land of Nutterville and how much the little girl loved the outdoors and the change of seasons and life in general. she had a very happy life and personality until her sister was locked in a psych ward in a state hospital ... everything changed. Basically childhood for the little girl ended at that point and the little girl was forced into a world of hushed talk, hospitals and whispers.
Shah Fazli Thank you very much, now I know why people love this book, do they comment on certain parts of your book, can you give us an example what people exactly say about your book please?
Faye Kufahl People especially relate to the childhood part, the poverty and the joy. they love the description of the Church on Sunday Morning, the barn life, and way I talk about the smell of old books and buildings. I am constantly amazed how many emails i get and notes from strangers that say I am telling THEIR story and speaking for them. I have given many families a voice about what it is like to have life totaly interrupted and chaos come knocking when an illness like this strikes. I have had 100's of such comments. Nutterville has struck a chord in rich and poor alike. truck drivers have pulled over and sent me an email to my web site... it has been an amazing experience to say the least.
Shah Fazli Describe the Church and Sunday Morning for us in a few sentences please, we want to get that feeling as well, if possible, in your own words?
Faye Kufahl My mom played the organ, so she would be sitting in the balcony behind me. I had my spot on the first pew. the church was old, my grandpa was the pastor before my uncle. the members was perhaps 90 .. that would be on Christmas. the rest of the year we were lucky to have 20. it was small. there was a communal water pail where everyone drank from who was thirsty and the odor from the barns was pungent even on a Sunday morning, because back in the 1950's a farmer had to milk the cows before church. this was all normal. everyone knew everyone. not just each other, but the parents and grand parents and children. brother, sisters.. it was family and it was the little girls entire life. we had no TV's or other entertainment.. even as late as teh 1950's. when my sister got ill... it affected the community
Shah Fazli Can you read from your book for us please?
Faye Kufahl In the fall when the rain and the wind crumpled the leaves and the process turned them into mush. this was also the time of the year when the days shortened .. no leaves on the trees meant short days and long deep nights. ..... .... Now comes the time to remember with you the glistening life of the ice chrystals as they would catch the glow of the moon and the stars on a field at night. ...
Shah Fazli What are the happy sides of the book in all this tragic story of your girl having to suffer, there must be also hopes and happiness there, or not at all?
Faye Kufahl Oh my goodness, Shah. People don't read the sad things. this is NOT a tragic book. that is what is so marvelous. This is a book of inspiration and heart warming insight. I think that is why people have loved it so much. The happy sides is that life is here for all of us, and it is what we make of it. This book is living proof of the eternal hope and joy that keeps springing.. hard times, yes... but we triumph. we survive!! we laugh and live. that is what life is all about.. seeing the beauty and taking it in, and living in the moment. that is what the little girl learned. the older girl gave the litle girl great wisdom, in that the little girl had to open her self to tolerate what is different. lesson learned
Shah Fazli I wanted to hear that from you, tell us a few more things about your book please, and also tell us what have you learnt from writing this book?
Faye Kufahl I have learned that mental illness is a topic that there are literally hundreds, thousands of people who have family members who suffer with mental illness. after I speak, they almost come in lines to talk to me, to tell me their storry and to thank me for telling mine. People need a voice. they need to know there is HOPE after having this diagnosis. they need to know they are not alone. Those are huge life lessons. that is what has inspired me to keep going and now become a professional speaker and teach others how to cope with diverse people. this is my passion, this is what I will be doing with my next 30 years of life. I am now 60. I will do this as long as I can.
Shah Fazli Apologies once more for the confusion with the time, and thanks a lot for being a wonderful guest tonight, we appreciate your time.
Faye Kufahl My I leave my home web site, and also Jerry Smith's web site?
Shah Fazli Visit:http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2012/10/nutterville-faye-ellen-kufahl.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Nutterville - Faye Ellen Kufahlshahsightshop.blogspot.com
October 10, 2012 at 10:20pm · Like · Remove Preview
Faye Kufahl Thank you Shah... much appreciated.
Shah Fazli To book an interveiw visit:http://www.facebook.com/BeInTheSpotlight
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Faye Kufahl www.quirksandjerks.com
Quirks and Jerksquirksandjerks.com
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Faye Kufahl that is where you can reach me and talk to me. Thank you everyone for reading this and thank you, Shah. this has been sweet and nice.