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Washing the Dead - by Michelle Brafman (Paperback)

Washing the Dead - by  Michelle Brafman (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
Washing the Dead - by  Michelle Brafman (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
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About this item


Number of Pages: 344

Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres

Sub-Genre: Jewish

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Prospect Park Books

Author: Michelle Brafman

Language: English

Street Date: April 28, 2015
TCIN: 77123472
UPC: 9781938849510
Item Number (DPCI): 247-47-3643


Jewish Book Council "Spring 2015 Jewish Book Preview" featured title

"A fast-paced and compelling debut." -- LIBRARY JOURNAL

"A heartfelt story of loss, hope, and reconciliation." -- BOOKLIST

"Brafman's tale of three generations of women shows that woundedness--damage to mind and soul--can travel down the generations, and that so can kindness, courage and, ultimately, self-healing. . . . [Washing the Dead] succeeds in showing how family history has a way of sneaking up on us from the depths of the past, shaping the present in ways both familiar and unexpected." --Haaretz

" . . . (a) beautifully wrought novel, one in which Brafman examines the inner lives of her characters with the dexterity of a surgeon and the compassion of a saint." --LILITH MAGAZINE

"Striking debut novel . . . poignant." --THE JEWISH NEWS WEEKLY


A Washingtonian magazine "Book Washingtonians Should Be Reading"

"Preparing the dead for traditional Jewish burial is considered the holiest and most sacred mitzvah that a Jew may perform because there is no way for the dead to repay the act of goodness. . . . In performing this mitzvah [in Washing the Dead], the protagonist cleanses herself of hatreds and misunderstandings that she has been carrying around since her youth."
--Jewish Book Council

"Deeply moving. . . . We are eased into an Orthodox Jewish community and a family burdened by secrets as gently as if an old friend were guiding us every step of the way. . . . Washing the Dead is a profoundly hopeful book. I can think of few others that honor ordinary women as simply and as clearly as this one does. Read it to feel how much is possible in the world all around us."
--Best New Fiction

"Brafman...puts her mother-and-daughter characters through the fire. Yet on the other side, each comes out refined, understanding that the legacy of one's family requires understanding and true forgiveness, which may be the greatest mitzvah of all."
--New Pages

"Intimate, big-hearted, compassionate and clear-eyed, Brafman's novel turns secrets into truths and the truth into the heart of fiction." --AMY BLOOM, author of Lucky Us and Away

"Heartfelt and genuine, Brafman's Washing the Dead never betrays the complicated truths of family and tradition." --DAVID BEZMOZGIS, author of The Betrayers and Natasha: and Other Stories

"From roots in one religious tradition, comes a tale of emotional redemption for all of us. Brafman's astonishing compassion for all human frailty infuses this story about the need for truth and the promise of forgiveness." --HELEN SIMONSON, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

"Sensual and spiritual, shot with betrayals, Washing the Dead plumbs the destructive power of secrets across three generations of mothers and daughters. In haunting prose, Brafman offers a riveting glimpse into Orthodox and Chasidic life, and breathtaking insight into what it means to forgive." --DYLAN LANDIS, author of Rainey Royal and Normal People Don't Live Like This

"A rich tale of love, friendship, yearning, and forgiveness. Brafman's beautifully wrought prose quickly cuts to the heart of things: how to live, how to love, and how to care for the dead." --JESSICA ANYA BLAU, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and The Wonder Bread Summer

"Like a Jewish Anne Lamott, Brafman reels you in with warmth, depth and heart. Infused with lush detail about Orthodox Jewish life in the Midwest... Brafman has written a charming and original spiritual page-turner about love, forgiveness, and family life." --SUSAN COLL, author of The Stager and Acceptance

"Throughout these pages, moving in shadow, runs the terrific responsibility of forgiveness and redemption. . . . Michelle Brafman has done us all a true mitzvah by writing this beautiful book." --ROBERT BAUSCH, author of Far as the Eye Can See and A Hole in the Earth

"What a spectacular debut." --T. GREENWOOD, author of The Forever Bridge and Bodies of Water

"Brafman offers a fresh, vital narrative about guilt, love, loss, and the necessity of wrestling with the dark angel of a painful family legacy until it blesses you. June Pupnick, one of the most bewitching and problematic fictional mothers I've come across in years, makes a regular habit of escaping her life by 'gobbling up' novels 'without chewing.' Please resist gobbling this novel. Slow down, savor the richness and generosity of Brafman's storytelling, and then buy a copy for your most deserving friend." --MARGARET MEYERS, author of Dislocation and Swimming in the Congo

"With the knife blade of her prose honed razor sharp, Brafman skillfully dissects the bonds of mother-daughter relationships.... She weaves together the sacred and the profane, reverberating silences, exile and return, atonement and forgiveness with the tenderness of a mother braiding the hair of a beloved daughter." --FAYE MOSKOWITZ, author of Her Face in the Mirror and A Leak in the Heart

"An illuminating and intricately layered novel about the complicated legacies that pass from mother to daughter, and about the ways that understanding our own history helps make us who we are. Brafman is an insightful writer who never falters or flinches in her quest to uncover the hearts of her characters." --CAROLYN PARKHURST, author of The Nobodies Album and The Dogs of Babel

"A riveting and humane account of family pain passed from one generation to the next.... How do we begin to forgive those who injured us? Start by reading Brafman's unflinching and inspiring novel." --MARY KAY ZURAVLEFF, author of Man Alive!, The Bowl Is Already Broken, and The Frequency of Souls

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