The Family Markowitz

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Powell's Books

Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: August 22, 2005
Pages: 280
ISBN13: 978-0374529390


In The Family Markowitz, Goodman writes with charm and compassion about three generations of Markowitzes making their way in America.  Among them are Rose, the cantankerous matriarch; Henry, her gay, married son who runs a Laura Ashley shop in London; her younger son Ed, a terrorism expert at Georgetown; and Ed's daughter Miriam, the medical student who, to her parents' consternation becomes a born again Jew.  Through extraordinary crises and ordinary rituals, they assert their love and independence, and never fail to speak their minds.

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“The author’s virtuosity turns not only complacent yentas, but everyone into treats. Her ‘touch’ reminds me of John Singer Sargent’s painting technique, the brush strokes seemingly casual yet sure, always the exact—and unlikely—equivalent of a shadow or reflected gleam.”

“These characters and the situations they find themselves in are so authentic and familiar, we respond to them as though they are family. They get under our skin, make us roll our eyes, get us snorting with laughter and recognition.”
—Boston Globe

“Goodman is brilliant at capturing the clutter of both interior and exterior life . . . These stories sound like no one else’s as she sharply appraises the shifts and quandaries of one variety of American Jewish life.”
—Los Angeles Times

The Family Markowitz has great consistency and charm.”
—Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review