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Kaaterskill Falls (Paperback)
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “A richly textured portrait . . . an intimate look at a closed Orthodox community.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
It is 1976. And the tiny upstate New York town of Kaaterskill Falls is bustling with summer people in dark coats, fedoras, and long, modest dresses. Living side by side with Yankee year-rounders, they are the disciples of Rav Elijah Kirshner.
Elizabeth Shulman is a restless wife and mother of five daughters; her imagination transcends her cloistered community. Across the street Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters. Comforted, yet crippled by his sisters’ love, he cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his own children and his young wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is nearing the end of his life. As he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him—the pious but stolid Isaiah or the brilliant but rebellious Jeremy—his followers wrestle with their future and their past.
With this community, Allegra Goodman weaves magic. The nationally bestselling author of The Family Markowitz crafts a tale of family and tradition—one that confirms this author’s place as a virtuoso of her generation.
About the Author
Allegra Goodman’s novels include The Chalk Artist, Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, Paradise Park, and Kaaterskill Falls (a National Book Award finalist). Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She has written two collections of short stories, The Family Markowitz and Total Immersion and a novel for younger readers, The Other Side of the Island. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, The Jewish Review of Books, and The American Scholar. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is writing a new novel.
Praise for Allegra Goodman:
"The brushstrokes seemingly casual yet sure, always the exact—and unlikely—equivalent of a shadow or reflected gleam."—Anna Shapiro, New York Newsday
"An astonishing display of virtuosity."—Los Angeles Times on Total Immersion
"Exceptionally well written: funny, wise, keenly observed....One of the most maddening and recognizable families to come along in years...an enchanting book."—Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times on The Family Markowitz