Most of you who know me have never heard the name Mitlin, my maiden name. Since I married at age 19, I have used my husband’s last name, Lav. And in my professional policy career, I used Iris J. Lav – J. for my given middle name Joan.
When I graduated from college, it had been my intention to use the professional name of Iris Mitlin Lav. I thought Iris Lav or even Iris J. Lav sounded too short and non-memorable. However, my formidable mother, may she rest in peace, strenuously objected. She pointed out that I had been named Iris after my paternal grandfather and Joan was after her father. Iris Mitlin Lav would have honored my paternal grandfather twice, she said, and left out her father. Alas, her objection was so strong that I dropped the idea.
In writing this book, I felt that I had gained a different identity than the one from my policy career and could reconsider my name choice. My father had no brothers and I had no brothers, so there is no close relative to carry the Mitlin name. Now, after many years and with posthumous apologies to my mother, I chose to use Iris Mitlin Lav as my author name.