Zelda Leah Gatuskin
Narraitve Biography 2003
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Zelda Leah Gatuskin is the pen/professional name for Zelda L. Gordon. Zelda was born in Wilmington, Delaware and grew up there; she graduated from Brandywine High School in 1975. Her interests at the time centered around art, dance, and drama. Zelda's introduction to the visual arts came from her grandmother Sadie Gordon, a talented artist and craftswoman. Dance and music were also encouraged at an early age through activities at Adas Kodesh Shel Emeth Synagogue, where Zelda participated in the chorus and the Israeli Dance Group. In her teen years, she danced weekly with the International Folk Dance Guild of the nearby Arden Community, and also participated in plays produced by the Arden Drama Guild. She was often joined in these activities (or enlisted) by her sisters and other family members. Those were the days of Flower Power and anti-war protests, and Zelda learned political awareness early on. She marched in peace rallies and belonged to the Ecology Club (the latter mainly providing opportunity to frolic outdoors). All of Zelda's family and friends were avid readers, and she was too. She wrote poems at an early age, and continued to write, though she was apt to keep her literary efforts more of a secret as time went on. At the age of 30, Zelda admitted to her mother that she was writing a novel, to which her mother replied: "I always knew you would be a writer."

Zelda and Sadie
Zelda Dances
Reading at Amador Book Bash
Collage Workshop
Zelda attended Emerson College in Boston, graduating in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications. Though the New England climate was not to her taste, she remained in Boston after graduation -- for love, of course! She threw in her lot with Frank Johnson, then a recent graduate of Boston Conservatory, and worked a variety of different jobs while pursuing her interest in the art of collage. After taking a cross-country trip in the summer of 1982, Zelda and Frank were ready to bid farewell to the East Coast. They moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in January of 1983 and have resided there since.

In Albuquerque, Zelda worked for a short time at a stationery/gift shop, and then served a longer stint as office manager for a small landscape architectural firm. Meanwhile, she continued to hone her skills as a visual artist, opened Studio Z, rediscovered her love of dance by taking lessons in Belly Dance, and from this was inspired to write her first novel THE TIME DANCER A Novel of Gypsy Magic. The novel was typed on weekends on the office computer. Up the street from the office, a little metaphysical shop put Zelda's collages on display. It was here that she met Harry Willson of Amador Publishers -- and the rest, as they say, is history.

THE TIME DANCER was published by Amador in 1991. Reclaiming the old family name Gatuskin for her pen name lauched Zelda into an exploration of family history and cultural identity which resulted in the collection ANCESTRAL NOTES, A Family Dream Journal, which is also illustrated with Zelda's original collages. ANCESTRAL NOTES was published in 1994, and was followed by the just-for-fun ZELDA'S COSMIC COLORING BOOK in 1995. Amador also brought out the ground-breaking CHRISTMAS BLUES Anthology that year, the brainchild of Michelle Miller, with Harry Willson and Zelda Gatuskin as co-editors. By this time Zelda had parted amicably with the Landscape Architects, to pursue her creative projects and manage her business, Studio Z, through which she offers graphic arts and literary services, and markets her books and art.

The more things change... 2003 finds Zelda once again a regular at International Folk Dancing; she dances most weeks at the Unitarian Church in Albuquerque. Zelda still gets involved in social causes too. No-Cards Shoppers is a consumer web site she has maintained since 1997. And Zelda still loves the theater, especially being in the spotlight. She satisfies her need to take center stage by giving workshops in the art of collage, and readings and talks about her books.

Zelda's most recent books are the novel, CASTLE LARK and The Tale that Stopped Time (Amador, 2001) and TIME AND TEMPERATURE, Thoughts about Consciousness (Studio Z/Amador, 2003). Yet another novel is in progress. Her mother was right.

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