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Being Esther
by Miriam Karmel


Overview - "Being Esther" intimately explores the interior consciousness of an elderly Jewish woman who lives as much in the past as in the present. Not prone to self-pity, Esther is at moments lucid and then suddenly lost in a world which has disappeared along with many who had inhabited it.  Read more...

 
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More About Being Esther by Miriam Karmel
 
 
 
Overview
"Being Esther" intimately explores the interior consciousness of an elderly Jewish woman who lives as much in the past as in the present. Not prone to self-pity, Esther is at moments lucid and then suddenly lost in a world which has disappeared along with many who had inhabited it.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781571310965
  • ISBN-10: 1571310967
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publish Date: March 2013
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-02-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

The heroine of Karmel’s meandering debut novel is Esther Lustig, an 85-year-old widow who has led a quiet, middle-class Jewish life in the Chicago suburbs. Confronting the inevitability of death and the gradual diminishment of her faculties, Esther rummages through the past—from her marriage to an overbearing man, to her difficult relationship with her daughter, to thoughts (and even, a little more than thoughts) of romance with other men. Increasingly alone as her friends die or fade away, Esther regrets a life led without risk, and struggles to stay independent when her children try to put her in a home. The narrative progresses through loosely tied vignettes of the past and present, which dwell on the muted struggles and triumphs confronting an elderly woman whose life is defined by her ordinariness and quiet dignity. With its too-easy melancholy, the unremarkable plot is unfortunately matched by flavorless prose, and in the end, little insight is gained into Esther. The novel has graceful moments that aspire to the heights of Grace Paley or Alice Munro, but the overall effect is forgettable. (Apr.)

 
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