North Shore author pens novel about parents’ old-fashioned love story

Pauli Libsohn of North Hills discusses her book, "What is Love," at Richmond Hill High School where her mother Mitzi went to school. (Photo courtesy of Pauli Libsohn)

North Hills’ Pauli Libsohn never expected to write a book in less than a week.

The back of “What is Love” is a photo of David and Mitzi Libsohn with a poem Mitzi wrote on their honeymoon. (Photo courtesy of Pauli Libsohn)

After publishing three workstwo collections of poetry and one collection of literary essays by her mother, Mitzi Libsohn — readers became entranced with the story of Mitzi and her husband, David Libsohn.

“It tells the entire story from beginning to end,” Pauli said. “The reason why I wrote this story, which I wasn’t going to do because I didn’t think I was capable of doing it, is because no one could get over this story I was telling with the poems and the meaning behind the poems. This tells why they were written.”

Pauli’s fourth book, “What is Love,” was written in six days last year and helped Pauli learn about her parents, especially about their lives and relationship before Pauli was born.

Mitzi and David met on Far Rockaway Beach when Mitzi was 12 and David was 17 and a lifeguard. Instantly, Pauli said the two were connected and got married as soon as Mitzi’s family signed off on the relationship, as Mitzi was the youngest sister and her older sisters were not yet married.

David and Mitzi Libsohn met on Far Rockaway Beach as teenagers. (Photo courtesy of Pauli Libsohn)

“It’s a love story, and it’s an old-fashioned love story,” Pauli said. “It’s not only about love; it’s about commitment that nobody has anymore. It’s about promises. It’s about devotion. It’s about romance.”

The book goes through different chapters of the couple’s lives both before and after they met, including a chapter on the family’s life in Great Neck before moving to what Pauli calls paradise in Old Brookville.

The novel also focuses on Mitzi’s life growing up in Queens, living in the back of the family’s store, The Grey Shop, where Mitzi dreamed it was actually a shop for high society people since the name used a British spelling.

As Mitzi grew, her teachers noticed her potential and her family allowed her to skip not one but two grades before attending Queens College at 16 years old.

“What is Love” is available on Amazon.

Reach reporter Amelia Camurati by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 215, or follow her on Twitter @acamurati.

About the author

Amelia Camurati

Amelia Camurati is a Southern transplant and a reporter covering Roslyn and Manhasset.
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