The Lemon Tree
Now Available on Amazon
A rare collection of diverse creators, The Lemon Tree is a kaleidoscopic work that contains some of the most creative women of our time. Nitza Agam, a Bay Area author, teacher, and poet, has compiled a work that reveals the truth behind what drives women writers and artists to express their creativity.
Inspired by her late friend who hid much of her art in her attic, and the stories of her writer and artist friends, Nitza Agam has compiled the truth behind what drives women writers and artists to express their creativity. What are the struggles, the obstacles, and the triumphs and joys? All reside in this diverse collection of women who have known, some from an early age, the need to create using words or images or both. They may have realized this while pursuing another path, or knew as children, the higher calling of documenting their lives, or expressing their inner selves. Nitza Agam kept journals since the age of eight, while Gretchen Butler knew when her children were toddlers that the kitchen actually was an artist's inspiration. Marlene Shigekawa knew as a young Japanese American girl the joy of seeing her drawings on a bulletin board at school and feeling "seen" for the first time. That moment of being seen, no longer invisible, drew these women to trace their "origin" stories.A
The Lemon Tree offers stunning artwork amidst inspiring motivating and energizing expressions of self for those who feel a need to share what is truly their own.
- Pamela Stewart, Ph.D, M.Ed, Senior Lecturer, History. ASU
Meet the Team
Editor / Author
Nitza Agam left Israel in 1976, after completing her BA in English Literature and Theater, bound for San Francisco. She completed two Master Degrees in English Literature and Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Holocaust poetry from San Francisco State. Nitza began her life as a teacher in independent schools and for the next 30 years taught English, History, Hebrew, and Judaica. She is the proud mother of two sons who are educators. Nitza is married to her Israeli American husband and has written about disability and the need to be seen more in society since her husband has lived with MS for over 30 years.
Nitza is also an author, her most recent publication is an anthology of essays and art by women writers and artists titled The Lemon Tree. Inspired by her late friend who hid much of her art, Nitza has compiled the truth behind what drives women writers and artists to express their creativity. A review by author and filmmaker Marlene Shigekawa, states: "The Lemon Tree" is a beautiful tribute from one woman artist to another. Few words can express the deep love between women that is nonsexual, a love that reflects respect and admiration for the creator's struggle. This work, through its art and words, emerges as a symphony that moves and uplifts us, as we deal with birth and death both in the creative process and in life."
Nitza's other memoirs include A Scent of Jasmine dealing with the effects of the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and Love Letters to My Mother, about the passing of her mother and a daughter's grief and love. Nitza has published poems and essays in literary magazines, educational magazines, and an essay about her husband's MS and triumphing over disability in Momentum, a MS magazine. Nitza has also published two essays in the San Francisco Chronicle's "Open Forum" as a disability activist. Her latest article is Women's Work" in Adanna Literary Journal Issue #10.Nitza continues to believe in the importance of the stories we all have to tell and the power they impart when shared
Publisher / Writer
Darshell McAlpine has been a writer for over thirty years. Her love of reading good books grew into a love of writing them and in November 2018 she published her first book, Leaving with My Marbles: Finding the Courage to Walk Away Intact. Earlier that year she launched Boss Lady Press, an independent book publishing company, as a resource for indie authors. Her sole purpose has been to write and publish great literary works and have people read them.
As the CEO of Boss Lady Press, she has been fortunate to help numerous writers become authors and has coached many others to transform their writing. In 2019, she partnered with Dr. Carolyn Stephens to publish several anthologies highlighting the lives of black women and men in the U.S. I Am A Black Woman: The Compendium and I Am A Black Man: Ascension of the Kings birthed a cultural movement. The I Am A Black Man: Ascension of
the Kings documentary also marked her debut as an executive producer and the launch of Boss Lady Media.
Darshell holds a B.A. in Psychology and is pursuing her Master of Arts in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. You can find her curled up with a good book, wearing a ratty t-shirt and fluffy socks, either drinking something hot and dark or dry and red, somewhere in Texas where she lives with her husband.
Author, Filmmaker, Publicity Manager
An independent film director, producer and writer, Marlene Shigekawa specializes in creative projects that give voice to marginalized communities and the need for social justice. She was the co-director and executive producer for the feature documentary film, For the Sake of the Children, which captures the stories of four generations of descendants of those Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. It has screened throughout the U.S. and in British Columbia.
She is currently in pre-production for her short film The Blue Jay, drawn from her script Hawk Dreamer, a feature length film depicting Japanese American and Native American characters who fight for their civil rights. Hawk Dreamer is also in pre-production. Shigekawa hopes to bring more diversity to the screen through her scripts that feature Asian American women. She is currently developing Poston Live, a multimedia and multicultural online educational project, which includes a short live-action film and a research document, featuring the intersection of the Japanese American and Indigenous communities at the Poston Incarceration Site in Arizona. Her children’s picture books on the Japanese American incarceration experience include Blue Jay in the Desert and Welcome Home Swallows.
As the Executive Director for the Poston Community Alliance, she has worked with the tribal community for 20 years in preserving the legacy of the former Poston Incarceration Site. A former manager in Silicon Valley companies, she wrote a career reference guide entitled Succeeding in High Tech: A Guide to Building Your Career , published by Wiley Publishing Co.