Nonfiction Florida Book Award
“In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?” —Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman.
When Merlin Stone’s first book, The Paradise Papers, was released in England in 1976 it became an instant sensation. When it was re-released in America under the title, When God Was a Woman, it exploded onto college campuses and elsewhere for its groundbreaking research regarding the role of women in ancient religions.
Merlin always felt guided by a force outside her control to correct historical information about female deities as she was convinced that the role of women, particularly Goddesses, had been all but erased from history.
We hope that Merlin Stone Remembered will, once again, bring this important information to the public’s attention, at a time when it’s especially needed by those of us who are concerned about world peace, preserving the earth, and understanding the world’s cultures.
Merlin said that early Gods were actually Goddesses and she traveled the world, alone, living out of a backpack, in order to do the research necessary to prove that her instincts were correct.
Lenny Schneir never dreamed he would one day meet a woman named Merlin Stone and that she would change his life forever. Merlin had just written When God Was a Woman when they met in Miami Beach while they were both visiting their mothers. At the time, Lenny was a professional poker player; Merlin was an accomplished artist, sculptor, professor, writer and feminist. They were an odd couple but something definitely clicked. They spent 34 years together and Lenny’s life as a self-professed male chauvinist was changed forever as he eventually became a feminist and a believer, like Merlin, in the Goddess.
This is their touching true story—part love story, part memoir, and part transformation of a diamond-in-the-rough gambler. Published by Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing, soft back, 331 pages with 12-page color insert.
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Praise for Merlin Stone
“This book is paradigm-shifting. It should be read by all those who yearn for miracles, as well as by those who still need proof to believe that they are possible. It gives us hope for the regeneration of compassionate and nurturing relations between all forms of interconnected life on our planet, now and in the future.” —Gloria Orenstein, Prof. Emerita, Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
“A lovely and loving tribute to the late Merlin Stone, a foremother of Goddess feminism. … What a gift to those of us familiar with Stone’s work, as well as those who want to know more about her life, both personal and professional.” —Judith Laura, author of Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century: From Kabbalah to Quantum Physics.
Table of Contents
Preface, by Carol Thomas
Editor’s Note, by David B. Axelrod
Introduction: Transforming His/story into Her/story. Merlin Stone’s Dramatic Entrance onto the Stage of Our Story, by Gloria F. Orenstein
Merlin Stone Timeline
My Life With Merlin Stone, by Lenny Schneir
Poems, by Lenny Schneir
Merlin in Her Own Words
Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: A Reflection on the Poetic Genius of Merlin Stone, by David B. Axelrod
Unpublished Writings, by Merlin Stone:
The Inner Voice: Intuition
The Global Garden
Women in Armed Combat
One Summer on the Way to Utopia or Dreams of Getting There: Excerpts from a Novel
Three Thousand Years of Racism: Recurring Patterns in Racism
The Importance of Merlin Stone, by Lenny Schneir
Merlin Stone, Artist and Sculptor, by David B. Axelrod
I Remember Merlin, by Cynthia Stone Davis
A Gallery of Photos and Artifacts
A Great Sense of Hope
The Legacy of Merlin Stone, by Carol Thomas
Epilogue, by Carol Thomas
Bibliography & Works Cited
About the Authors
Other Books by Merlin Stone
“Lenny Schneir’s tribute to Merlin Stone—her life, her person, her work—touched me to the core. The book is both humble and powerful, proclaiming as it does his unconditional (and undying) love for a creative, independent woman, who expressed her own mind and lived out her destiny. A fine archival gathering of photos, as well as his stories and poems, plus her unpublished writings, the book is a peek into the mysterious, private world of this iconic feminist woman who changed history.” —Vicki Noble, Feminist shamanic healer and author of The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
DR. CAROL THOMAS holds a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Saint Thomas of Villanova University in Miami. She also holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Psychology from Union Institute and University, and a doctorate in Applied Theology (D.Min.) from Pittsburgh’s Theological Seminary. She taught Women’s Studies, Psychology, and Literature at the University of Connecticut, Bowie State, as well as in additional colleges and universities. She also taught creative writing for Saint Leo University and for Gavle University in Storvik, Sweden. During her sojourn of eleven years at the University of Connecticut, she enjoyed private practice as a member of Shoreline Psychiatric Associates. At Niantic Women’s prison she taught for Mohegan College and was instrumental in facilitating the publication of a book of art and poetry written by the incarcerated women and published by the State of Connecticut’s Counsel for the Arts. She has published a book on the Women’s Movement and three books of poetry. Dr. Thomas’ husband is a practicing surgeon and they have four sons and six grandchildren. She and her husband had a horse ranch in Oklahoma where they resided for a number of years, and a home in Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida, which is now their retirement home.
LEONARD SCHNEIR was born in Brooklyn, New York. He lived at home with his sister Renée, and his mother, Betty. His father, Irving, a shoe manufacturer, only occasionally lived with them. In 1947, at the age of seven, he moved to Kew Gardens, Queens, where he became an “expert” at roaming the streets, as his memoir amply recounts. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1962, from the University of Denver. Thereafter, he served in the Army, rising to sergeant E5, honorably discharged in 1968. After a series of jobs, first for his father, and at other sales positions, he moved to his home at 184 6th Avenue, New York City, in that same year. There, he settled into the life of a professional poker player. Later, he became a major collector of gambling memorabilia in partnership with the American playing-card authority, Gene Hochman. As an expert in that area, Lenny authored the book, Gambling Collectibles: A Sure Winner (Schiffer Publishing: Atglen, PA, 1993). Lenny met Merlin in September, 1976, and she moved in soon thereafter. They continued at their 6th Avenue residence until 2005, at which time they moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. Since Merlin’s death, Lenny continues to live in Daytona Beach.
DAVID B. AXELROD has written and published hundreds of articles and works of fiction and non-fiction ranging from 21 books of poetry to dramatic writing for stage and television, freelance journalism, stories and memoirs. He holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts; an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University; an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from Union Institute. He is recipient of three Fulbright Awards, including his serving as Fulbright’s first official Poet-in-Residence in the People’s Republic of China. He has served as Suffolk County, Long Island’s Poet Laureate and performed for the American Library Association and at the United Nations. As a non-fiction writer and journalist, he was published by the New York Times, Newsday, and Harper Collins. Dr. Axelrod’s three daughters—Jessica Robinson, Emily and Aileen Axelrod—are all working professionals in the New York area. His son, Daniel, is a professional journalist completing his Ph.D. at the University of Florida. He lives with his wife, Sandy Martin, in Daytona Beach, where he continues his work as an author and arts administrator. For more information about him, consult his websites, www.poetrydoctor.org and www.creativehappiness.org.
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