Alumnus Chalfin’s novel available – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alumnus Chalfin’s novel available

Copies of “Memoirs of A Moth,” a novel by Jack Chalfin ’69, a Cape Cod ophthalmologist, are now available at The College Store.

Chalfin, a biology major at HWS, was a member of the WEOS radio station staff and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree in 1992 from Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

The book explores the difference between our memories and the real events that inspire them and the idea that the past is often transformed by our subconscious to coincide more closely with our fantasies.

“Memoirs of A Moth” is the story of Gwen, the title character who is interested in (and seemingly excited by) nothing. To escape her overbearing mother, she marries Marcus, and tries to find the colors she desperately needs in her life. Leo, the famous painter who is her mother’s lover and the only father Gwen knows, has a whole palette of colors. Gwen recalls his knack to be where he is needed and to say what must be said, and imbues him with the qualities she finds missing from her life.

The blurred edges between memory and reality unfold in the three epilogues told from the perspective of the three main women characters, each of whom has needed Leo in her life.