Last Gentleman in the Middle Distance, a timely literary historical novel, tells of young woman Meta after World War I. Running away from her estranged family in rural Lower Saxony, she arrives with her friends into 1920s Berlin. By choice or fate, the politics of the day and the struggle for food and home absorbs each one. To duck out of rural turmoil, they must confront their upbringing and the urban scene of jazz club-going, expressive art, free sex, and street fights, making decisions that affect their entire lives. They are little prepared for the looming Nazi takeover. Meta seeks to plot her way to America. But her closest friend Grete cannot risk fleeing.
Last Gentleman in the Middle Distance derives from interviews on Northern Manhattan park benches with elderly people who outlasted their Nazi attackers and inspired the author to shape characters in this book.
Busing across Afghanistan and Iran led Jean A. Verthein to write about the wonders of survival. Counseling and teaching as an Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Social Work have been invaluable to her. Two Ragdale Foundation grants and a Sarah Lawrence College encourage publishing in St. Ann's Review, Downtown Brooklyn, Absaloose, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Mountains Review, River Press Review, Gival Press and others.