GRAND Magazine - Summer 2021 - 11

extraordinary grandparents
Meet " the bubbe " - Paula Span
W
BY EMILY MORGAN
riting and lending her voice to the audiobook
The Bubbe Diaries about her granddaughter
(pictured) has been a new venture
for Paula Span. " I've been a writer all my working life.
And here was a chance to tell a story in a whole different
way. "
In your home, Paula Span might not be a household
name, but to her granddaughter, she's the best
" bubbe " in the world. Many might recognize Span's
byline from her New York Times columns " Generation
Grandparent " and " The New Old Age. " But her role as
Bubbe (a Yiddish word for grandmother) has eclipsed
her other writing with the release of her new audiobook,
The Bubbe Diaries.
"
The world is increasingly complex,
and we need help to interpret it.
Available through Audible, her latest work
is a mix of anecdotes, research, and
interviews on grandparenting. Listeners
will appreciate her distinctive voice as
she shares stories about her own grandparenting
journey. Originally, the book
was supposed to be recorded by a voice
actor. But her editor suggested she might
try her hand at reading it herself.
11 GRAND Summer 2021
"
After creating a " scratchtrack "
which Span describes
as a " lo-fi, quick-and-dirty
recording, " the editor passed
it around, and all agreed it
was delightful. Span was very
surprised by the comments. " I
was slack-jawed, to be honest. "
Span admits that she had a
fantasy list of readers had she
been asked to cast the audiobook.
" Bette Midler was at
the top of my list, " she said. " I
mean, Broadway has shut down
and TV and film are largely shut
down. Maybe she has some
time on her hands, " she mused.
As turned out, Span herself
became the best
casting choice.
While Span seldom thinks of her writer/
reporter " voice " ( " you don't hear much
about news reporters finding their
voices " ), I think her readers would contend
that both of her voices - the one
in audio, and the meaning it imparts
- speak with truth and reason on
whatever subject she tackles. This
reflects her genuine passion for good
reporting. Span shared, " I have
loved the idea of a fearless, independent,
truth-teller since I was
in the 4th grade and reading
childhood biographies of Charles
Pulitzer and Nellie Bly. " Whether
writing about grandparenting
or reporting on ageism, Span's
voice rings loud and clear: " The
world is increasingly complex,
and we need help to interpret it. "
In addition to writing and
reporting, Paula Span teaches at
the famed Columbia School of
Journalism in NYC. " I want there
to be journalists who are very
skilled, very smart, committed to
telling the facts, and also committed
to raising understanding
of complicated issues. "
Emily Morgan hosts The Grand
Life podcast. Now in its third
season, and recently named the
top grandparenting podcast by
Feedspot, her podcast tackles
many topics surrounding the
adventure of wholehearted
grandparenting.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994809700/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0994809700&linkId=c0cf2342749a51234e00421ef2df453e https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B6QYSW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003B6QYSW&linkId=74a78ba0a510c9871c2e38f745d59213 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091J7P7S4/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B091J7P7S4&linkId=878457532a98a858d3ba6b65f3a0f04f https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091J7P7S4/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B091J7P7S4&linkId=878457532a98a858d3ba6b65f3a0f04f https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B091J7P7S4/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B091J7P7S4&linkId=878457532a98a858d3ba6b65f3a0f04f https://thegrandlife.libsyn.com/ https://thegrandlife.libsyn.com/

GRAND Magazine - Summer 2021

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