Two Senior Authors Discuss their Literary Works and Upcoming Litquake Palo Alto Event

Opus Ultimum! by award winning author Dan Leeson of Moldaw Residences
Opus Ultimum! by award winning author Dan Leeson of Moldaw Residences
Anticipation is building throughout the Palo Alto area, and particularly at Moldaw Residences, for the second annual celebration of books, ideas and community – Litquake Palo Alto. This literary festival scheduled for Sunday, August, 18, will be held at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center connected to Moldaw Residences, a proud sponsor of this cultural activity. Two renowned authors and residents of Moldaw, Dan Leeson and Frederica Postman, are very familiar with the book writing and publishing process. Leeson, whose expertise involves writing historical views on Mozart, has four books published and currently is working on another. Postman has published and sold three different limited edition “artists’ books” on various topics. Both residents always have enjoyed writing and expressing themselves through art in exceptional ways, and they have great appreciation for others in the business of writing and publishing books like those attending the Litquake Palo Alto event. 

“When writing a book, starting is the most difficult part,” admits Leeson, award-winning writer of nonfiction. “But I had a drive to do it.”

Leeson worked 30 successful years for the IBM Corporation in almost every phase. He was a nationally renowned speaker for IBM and, in 1962, wrote one of the earliest books in the industry – Basic Programming Concepts and the IBM 1620 Computer. Leeson also has been a professional performing musician with symphony orchestras like the San Jose Symphony orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, San Francisco Opera and the Mozart Orchestra of San Luis Obispo, to name a few. He has written not only books, but more than 100 technical articles that have appeared in dozens of musical journals including Music & Letters, a leading international journal of musical scholarship published by Oxford University Press in London. 

“My books and articles are not for casual reading,” explained Leeson. “I write and enjoy reading historical nonfiction, and my special interest is Mozart.”

Leeson is considered one of America's leading Mozart authorities with his books, The Mozart Forgeries, The Mozart Cache, Opus Ultimum! The Story of the Mozart Requiem and gran Partitta

Like Leeson, Postman’s works are not for the everyday reader. She creates specialized books that are done in small editions and often produced as one-of-a-kind objects referred to as “uniques.”

“These can be hard to describe,” said Postman. “They are handmade books - literally works of art, and the collectors who buy them treat them as such. They are not just something you take out of a library.” 

Postman was a letterpress printer for 50 years, so she began creating these books herself with artist Bonnie Stone who did the illustrations. Together they did the entire printing process themselves and then would sell their masterpieces. The True Collector, for example, was a handmade book put together alphabetically about particular things people collect with a short essay on each letter. Postman and Stone only created 100 copies, which sold out among places such as The Woodland Museum in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago.

“The entire process of these literary pieces of art coming together is like watching your child grow,” said Postman. “The end result brings tremendous satisfaction and pride. It’s work, but it’s also great pleasure.” 

Postman has gone to the Litquake event in San Francisco previously, and she looks forward to attending this one, offered right next door to her home, to celebrate all kinds of literature.

“We are proud to have such renowned and accomplished authors, like Dan and Frederica, living here at Moldaw,” said Miki Raver, lifestyles services director at Moldaw Residences. “And we’re thrilled to be connected with the JCC offering this Litquake Palo Alto event for the second year. It’s a great opportunity for our residents and the community to enjoy!”


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