Winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize.
“I stopped telling that story, until now. Even when I finally tiptoed into writing about my first husband’s death, I couldn’t bring myself to write that ghost story because that purple splotch remained on the white nightgown for years, and I continued wearing the bathrobe and nothing else ever stained. Some stories shouldn’t be true yet are, and those are the stories our souls crave and fear.” (Salon)
He joked that he would die young. You imagined ninety-nine to your hundred. But by “young” he meant sixty-five, fifty-five. What “young” ended up meaning was thirty-five….
“A stunning book, a rare tour de force.”
Mama came back three days after her funeral. That was my mother, as symbolic as they got. Three days, like she was Jesus Christ himself. “Alice,” she whispered as I was frying up pancakes, willing the bubbles to pop so I could flip them, “it’s Mama. I’m back.”…
“Wry, witty, suffused with longing as well as hope.”
We were at my great-grandmother’s house because she was surprised my mother had never learned how to make pierogi, Polish dumplings. “There’s no secret,” my great-grandmother said as she opened and closed kitchen cupboards, barely glancing at them to set her hands on exactly what she wanted. “Don’t all the time be looking first for shortcuts.” I loved how she talked, her thick words like blocks stacking into a story….
“A rich, intricate, heartfelt novel.”