This searing novel, a National Book Award finalist, “transforms one woman’s experience with cancer into a work of vision and intelligence” (The Washington Post).
“I am thirty-four years old, married, a professor of neurobiology; I have two sons, aged nine and seven. I grew up in Brownsville and I left it behind, and I was diagnosed as having cancer in January. I know that these facts are connected; I have yet to understand how.”
Mona’s perfect world is shattered by sudden and serious illness—leaving her searching her past for answers. Fate has led her from a tough Brooklyn girlhood to a happy marriage with a wonderful man, but what has she forgotten along the way? In this classic New York novel of the 1980s, as Mona struggles to understand her own life story, she uncovers the shocking memory of a murder and traces the shape of her own mortality.
This stunning work was a finalist for the National Book Award for First Novel; now, its brilliant, ambitious exploration of an unfinished life is about to be discovered by a new generation of readers.
Gail Albert is a writer, licensed psychologist, photographer, and certified teacher of Jewish mystical and meditative practice. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University. For most of the 1990s, she directed a program in New York City that brought psychiatrists to mentally ill homeless people; currently, she has a private practice in Woodstock, New York. Her first book, Matters of Chance, was a Book-of-the-Month Club Alternate Selection and was nominated as the Best First Novel of the Year for the American Book Awards. Her second book is called The Other Side of the Couch. One of its chapters was republished in a book for the general public on psychotherapy (Inside Therapy: Illuminating Writing About Therapists, Patients, and Psychotherapy), which includes chapters by such people as Erich Fromm, Theodore Reik, Janet Malcolm, Mark Epstein, and Irvin Yalom. Her third book, Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul: Directions to the Garden Within, was published in 2012.