Books, News + Views, Podcast, Politics

Tandy Culpepper Talks with Judy Lev about her Groundbreaking New Memoir, Our Names Do Not Appear


Judy Lev (the pen name for Judy Labensohn) is an American-Israeli writer whose new memoir — Our Names Do Not Appear —  breaks new ground for the genre. One book critic referred to it as a “hybrid memoir.” After reading it, I must opine that hybrid is an accurate description for the book. Judy mixes creative nonfiction with elements of fiction, and she does so with a deft hand. The story mines memories from a traumatic childhood event that the author carries with her for many years until she faces the same sort of dilemma after becoming a young adult starting her own family. Lev/Lebensohn grew up in Shaker Heights, a small municipality just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. When she was 21 — in 1967 — she moved to Israel for what she thought would be a year. All these years later, she’s still there. Judy and I talk about the childhood that prompted her to write this book, as well as how she chose to structure her memoir which breaks conventions to craft something heretofore little seen in the genre. We also discuss the current turbulent political climate and how it mirrors what is transpiring in the United States and certain other nations around the globe.


Published by Tandy Culpepper

I am a veteran broadcast journalist. I was an Army brat before my father retired and moved us to the deep South. I'm talkin' Lower Alabama and Northwest Florida, I graduated from Tate High School and got botha Bachelor's degree and Master's in Teaching English from the University of West Florida, I taught English at Escambia County High School for two years before getting my m's in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Auburn University. Following graduation, I did a 180 degree turn and moved to Birmingham where I began ny broadcasting career at WBIQ, Channel 10. There I was host of a weekly primetime half-hour TV program called Alabama Lifestyles. A year later, I began a stint as a television weathercaster and public affairs host. A year later, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida and became bureau chief at WPTV, the CBS affiliate. Two years later, I moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where I became co-host of a morng show called AM Carolina. The next year, I moved cross-country and became co-host and story producer at KTVN-TV in Reno, Nevada. I also became the medical reporter for the news department. Three years later, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became host and producer of a morning show called today in WAVE Country at WAVE-TV, Channel 3, the NBC affiliate. Following three years there, I moved to Los Angeles and became senior correspondent at the Turner Entertainment Reportn, an internationally-syndicated entertainment entertainment news service owned by CNN. I went back to school afterwards and got an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. Oh, yes. I won a hundred thousand dollars on the 100 Thousand Dollar Pyramid, then hosted by Dick Clark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *