Interview session with ‘Assther’ author Rosa Golub.
Rosa Golub is the pseudonym for Rahel Ruiz MD, a remarkable woman. Fleeing Ethiopia as a child, her determination and thirst for knowledge led her to Harvard Medical School which she graduated in 1996. A practicing internist for over 20 years, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
In her fascinating debut novel Assther Medina’s idyllic childhood comes to an end with her mother’s untimely death from cancer. Inspired by the tragedy, she becomes a doctor and dedicates her life to trying to alleviate the suffering of others. When her best friend unexpectedly commits suicide, leaving behind an appeal for Assther to care for her orphaned child, she must turn to reporter Tina Ho, who has been investigating a surrogate agency whose children have been exhibiting strange behavior. Assther realizes that the story connects to reports in the media about dangerous AI and bizarre stories about robotic children. Remembering the rumors and questions she’s always had about her own birth, she follows the trail back to her own father, who with his mysterious work colleagues has apparently been keeping important secrets for her entire life – secrets that someone is determined will remain hidden.
We talked with the author of this timely novel, particularly about her interest of the intersection between medicine and modern IA technology.
What was the process of writing the book like?
Writing the book was a long and arduous process that required many, many rewrites. I also had to squeeze in my writing around my daytime job. But I enjoyed writing the book and the process of getting to know my characters as I worked through all the revisions.
Do you have any other published books? Any books you’re working on currently?
I am currently working on my second book and have written short stories and flash fiction for submission to various journals.
What inspired you to write this story and want to share it?
I have very vivid dreams, and the idea came to me in a dream, which I then developed into a story. I’m sharing it because artificial intelligence is becoming more ubiquitous in our daily lives, and we will need to decide how we’ll respond to the technology.
Are there messages in the book you’d like to share?
There are several. One is the power of love that transcends origins, family ties, and life circumstances. The second is the ways in which different people react to tragedies and misfortunates in their lives. Finally, it’s a commentary on the ethics of scientific development and the fallout unrestrained progress can have on our society.
Are your characters completely fictional? Are they inspired by people you know?
The characters are all fictional, but some of the events and places are inspired by people I know and places I’ve visited.
Thank you for the interview.
Author: Rosa Golub
Plot: Assther Medina’s happy childhood ends when her mother dies of cancer. She knows there are mysteries about her birth, but the suicide of her best friend forces her to finally confront the secrets that her father has been keeping for her entire life.
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About the author
Rosa Golub is the pen name for Rahel Ruiz MD. She was born in Ethiopia and escaped the revolution with her family at the age of ten arriving in Baltimore as a refugee. Her childhood dream of becoming a doctor propelled her to work hard academically and she graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1996. She has been working as Internist for the past 20 years and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children
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