by Lorine Kritzer Pergament
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A young woman gains newfound courage after discovering diaries from her female ancestors who survived the Triangle Waist Factory fire and the Holocaust and went on to lead full lives.
Susie, a fiction writer, is grappling with three issues that have been plaguing her: her inability to commit to her boyfriend Zach, who wants to get married and start a family; her frustration with her writing career; and the suspicion that exploring her family history may open doors to the reasons for her state of mind.
When Susie returns to her childhood home for the holidays to help her stepmother and father, she discovers four family photographs that trigger her curiosity about significant events in the lives of her female relatives. She gains new insights when reading about her birth mother Sylvie, who died when Susie was born; her grandmother, who despite surviving the Triangle Waist Factory fire, went on to lose her best friend, as well as her infant firstborn son; her aunt Berta, a serious musician who faced anti-Semitism and misogyny. In the end, Susie comes to appreciate how difficult life is for everyone and begins moving on with her own life.
“Lorine Pergament was a consummate storyteller. What she accomplished in this collection—a novel and four stories—maps a veritable family tree of laughter, tears, and human frailty. She inhabits her character’s universal secrets, rumors, diaries, dementia, divorce, gossip, miscarriage, and deaths. Settings shift through time and space like emotional clouds, from Paris to New York to DC to San Francisco to Paris again. Her devotion to details is tactile. If hearts could talk, this book of life is what they’d whisper.”
-- Richard Peabody, editor, Gargoyle Magazine
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$17.95 trade paperback; ISBN: 978-0-9979137-9-8
$7.95 ebook; ISBN: 978-1-7350273-0-2
Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor
About the Author
Lorine Kritzer Pergament's stories have appeared in "Gargoyle," "Bridges," and "Penn-Union," as well as the anthology “Amazing Graces: More Stories by Washington Area Women Writers,” and she was a winner in the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest. Lorine served as the Book Review Editor of “Signature,” a publication of the Women's National Book Association, and a member of the WNBA's Great Group Reads panel.
Izzy looked up through the smoke and water torrents and saw men, women, and girls leaning out of smoke-filled windows in between the neat lettering proclaiming “Triangle Waist Factory.” He ran to help, grabbing a corner of a blanket that some men were holding, but they yelled, “Get outta here, kid, you wanna get killed!” and when Izzy persisted in holding on, they kicked him out of the way.
Izzy absentmindedly wiped off his dirty knickers and moved his bike across the street, chaining it to the railing on a stoop. At least this was something he could control. He edged his way back to the other side, unnoticed by the policeman. He couldn’t leave. He knew some of the girls who worked at the Triangle Waist Company; Molly Cohen from down the street, Sadie Klein from his building, and Fannie Lipsky, the girl from the park. Maybe he could sneak into the building and look for them.
Read Longer Excerpt Here.