May 30, 1910|
|Died||June 3, 2011
Brooklyn, New York City
Harry Louis Bernstein (May 30, 1910 – June 3, 2011) was a British-born American writer whose first published book, The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers, dealt with his long suffering mother Ada's struggle to feed her six children; an abusive, alcoholic father, Yankel; the anti-Semitism Bernstein and his Jewish neighbors encountered growing up in a Cheshire mill town (Stockport, now part of Greater Manchester) in northwest England; the loss of Jews and Christians from the community in World War I; and the Romeo and Juliet-like romance experienced by his sister Lily and her Christian boyfriend. The book was started when Bernstein was 93 and published in 2007, when he was 96. The loneliness he encountered following the death of his wife, Ruby, in 2002, after 67 years of marriage, was the catalyst for Bernstein to begin work on his book. His second book, The Dream, published in 2008, centered on his family’s move to the West Side of Chicago in 1922 when he was twelve. In 2009, Bernstein published his third book, The Golden Willow, which chronicled his married life and later years. A fourth book, What Happened to Rose, will be published posthumously in 2012.
Before his retirement at age 62, Bernstein worked for various movie production companies, reading scripts and working as a magazine editor for trade magazines. He also wrote freelance articles for such publications as Popular Mechanics, Family Circle and Newsweek.
"You've got to be taught to hate. You've got to be taught from the time you're six or seven or eight. It's put in your mind. It's handed down, almost like a heirloom, among Christians. They didn't know why they hated us."
- Rich, Motoko. "Successful at 96, Writer Has More to Say", The New York Times, April 7, 2007. Accessed June 22, 2008.
- William Grimes (June 7, 2011). "Harry Bernstein, Writer Who Gained Fame at 96, Dies at 101". The New York Times.