In the eleven bold and tender stories that comprise
, Judith Felsenfeld illuminates the complexities of multigenerational family life.
The impulse to connect is a major theme: a mother who has lost her rightful place in the family; parents ambitious for a child beyond reasonableness; a nursing home runaway and the woman who shields him; the ongoing pull of the immigrant experience as a family faces challenges to their lifelong myths and assumptions.
Throughout, narrative skill and fine eye for the minute detail shine through.
This assured collection is linked occasionally by character, but always by Felsenfeld's spare, funny, generous voice.
"Judith Felsenfeld has written a wonderful book of short stories. It is deeply serious but there are characters with a lively sense of humor who have imposed their will as well. Many readers will be cheered by her attention to more than one generation. A good, rich piece of work; a pleasure to read."-
"The richly detailed and moving stories in
navigate the emotional landscape of family, and illuminate the human condition with heart-stopping precision. Felsenfeld's characters are confronted with tragedy, perplexed by circumstance, and her ability to inhabit the mysteries of their hidden lives is formidable. These heartbreaking stories are spliced with a sharp, uncompromising wit reminiscent of Grace Paley."
-Mary Otis, author of
Yes, Yes, Cherries
"In Blaustein's Kiss, her fine debut collection, Judith Felsenfeld's characters navigate their ways through many challenging mid-life moments-divorce, tangled family dynamics, elderly parents struggling with dementia. There are no easy answers for these women, but with grace and compassion and wit, Felsenfeld reveals their rueful acceptance, stolen moments of peace and also their defiance." -Lisa Fugard, author of Skinner's Drift
About the author: Judith Felsenfeld's
early years were spent at the piano. She performed as a soloist and chamber pianist, and later moved on into performing arts management and development. Commuting back and forth between New York and Fort Lauderdale in the early '90s to care for her ailing mother, she began writing short stories. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the
. Her story, "The Lover," was broadcast nationwide on NPR's Selected Shorts series of readings. Judith and her husband, Carl, divide their time between New York City and the Hudson Valley, where she continues to write and plays chamber music.