THE WHOLENESS OF A BROKEN HEART
By Katie Singer
Published by Riverhead Books / Penguin Putnam

Scroll down for Katie's favorite novels, non-fiction, and links.


Katie's Favorite Novels

Andrea Levy
Small Island
I fell in love with all of the characters in this book, and still think of them weeks after I finished it. Small Island tells the stories of a Jamaican man who served in the British Army during WWII, a British man who served in India, and their wives. This is the best novel I've read in years.

Joan Chase
During the Reign of the Queen of Persia

In the 50s, three generations of women live together under Gram's roof in northeastern Ohio. Beautifully written.

Martha Cooley
The Archivist

A solitary archivist, who oversees T.S. Elliot's letters to Emily Hale, is challenged by a young poet who seeks to understand religious conversions. This novel brilliantly explores the intellectual and social climate of NYC in the first years after the holocaust.

Marge Edelson
Malkeh and Her Children

A captivating epic of a Jewish family during the Russian Revolution. If you love learning history through full-fledged characters, this book is for you.

Carol Edgarian
Rise the Euphrates

An Armenian family copes with their legacy.

Louise Erdrich
Love Medicine
and Tracks
Intense stories of strong-willed Chippewa women in North Dakota. About loving and surviving.

Molly Gloss
The Jump-Off Creek

An unforgettable portrait of a woman homestead alone in the Blue Mountains of Oregon in the 1890s.

Annie Green
Bright River Trilogy

Three women are attached to Darcy: Lily, his mother, is raising his son; Jessie has fled a disastrous affair to her father's farm; Ellen is leaving her parents' home to marry a man she doesn't love. Each searches for redemption in Darcy, whose passion for freedom keeps him elusive and unknowable. The writing is mesmerizing.

Jeffrey Lent
In the Fall

Three generations of Vermont and N. Carolinian families--starting with the return of a Union soldier to his hometown, accompanied by his bride, a former slave.

Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Tumbling

When babies mysteriously appear on Noon and Herbie's doorsteps, they take them in. While raising the girls, Noon finds solace and comfort in her church; Herbie finds these with a jazz singer named Ethel--until Noon begins to fight for the preservation of her So. Philadelphia neighborhood. I couldn't put this one down.

Gurney Norman
Kinfolks

Wilgus Collier comes of age in Eastern Kentucky after WWII.

Chaim Potok
My Name is Asher Lev

When Asher Lev is moved to paint images of Christ, his devout, Jewish parents are horrified--and still they stand by him.

Simone Schwarz-Bart
The Bridge of Beyond

In Guadeloupe, Grandmother Toussine refuses 'to make a habit of sorrow,' and instills in her granddaughter, Telumee, principles of self reliance. This book celebrates women's strengths and mysteries.

Lee Smith
Fair and Tender Ladies

Ivy Rowe, born in Appalachia near the turn of the century, tells her story through letters she writes to family and friends. One of my all-time favorites.

Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club

In alternating voices, four women describe their lives in China before 1949; and their American-born daughters tell their experiences in California.

Anzia Yezierska
Bread Givers

First published in 1925, a Jewish daughter in NYC struggles with her father and his Old World ways

Mako Yoshikawa
One Hundred and One Ways
Kiki Takehashi is the granddaughter of a geisha she has never met, and the daughter of a rebellious woman who left her parents and Japan. A graduate student of literature, Kiki now struggles with the ghost of Phillip, her closest friend, while she becomes engaged to Eric, a lawyer whose patience with her is wearing thin. Yoshikawa's voice is lush with real-life subtleties. Her spellbinding novel sensuously describes the intricate tangles between mothers and daughters, men and women, the dead and the living.


Katie's Favorite Non-Fiction

Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Our Bodies, Ourselves

The most comprehensive (and readable) resource available regarding women's health. I can't imagine my life without this book. (N.B. a Spanish edition was recently released--Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestros Vidas.) For teenagers, check out Changing Bodies, Changing Lives.

Harvey Frauenglass
Cidermaster of Rio Oscuro
Frauenglass has farmed an apple orchard in northern New Mexico for 20 years (after another life as a technical writer for the nuclear industry). His memoir describes his getting to know the land, and his grief through his daughter's dying--she became sick with terminal breast cancer during her pregnancy with her first child.

Andy Goldsworth
A Collaboration With Nature
Goldsworthy creates "plainspoken physical poetry" with leaves, stone, branches, water, and grass--then photographs his sculptures before (or while) they decay. His work is awesome!!

Bert Hellinger and Hunter Beaumont Love
Hidden Symmetry
A clear and exceptionally provocative book about family dynamics--Hellinger and Beaumont's observations continue to inspire me.

Lewis Hyde
The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
An inquiry into the place of creativity in our market-oriented society, I'm still rereading this book--and I first bought it over ten years ago.

Toni Weschler
Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement


Katie's Favorite Links

Readerville
www.r
eaderville.com
Literary and substantive, this zine was started by Karen Templer, who used to edit at salon.com.

Poets & Writers Online
www.pw.org

They produce an excellent bi-monthly magazine, and their site lists names and addresses of poets and fiction writers.

The Authors Guild
www.authorsguild.org

If you are interested in knowing more about what's going on in publishing today, I strongly recommend reading "The Midlist Study Group Report," provided through The Authors Guild at http://www.authorsguild.org/prmidlist.html. (The Authors Guild provides legal services for writers, and commissioned this report.)

Jewish Women's Archive
www.jwa.org

Resources and exhibits that chronicle and transmit the rich legacy of Jewish women.

David Moss
www.davidmoss.com
One of my favorite Jewish artists. He re-initiated, in the late '60s, hand-commissioned ketubot (marriage contracts); he wrote and illustrated an awesome haggadah, etc. etc.

Walking Stick Foundation
www.walkingstick.org
My friends, Rabbi Gershon Winkler and Lakme Elior, have written numerous books which explore early interpretations of Jewish law; they also provide retreats on their land in northern New Mexico.

Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet
www.mothers.org
Provides excellent consumer info.

The Work of Byron Katie
thework.org

A great tool for getting to know your thinking, and unraveling your life in the best sense!

The Ritual Well
www.ritualwell.org
A delightful, idea-packed site offering a wide range of Jewish and feminist rituals for lifecycle events, holidays, and daily life.


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