Synopses & Reviews
Dorothy Gallagher’s critically acclaimed memoir, How I Came Into My Inheritance
, told of her childhood in 1940s New York as the daughter of left-wing Russian Jewish immigrants. Time magazine called it “a piercingly funny book . . . unsentimental, breezy, blunt.” In Strangers in the House, this brilliant stylist takes us into her adult life and tells us honest, funny, and highly distinctive stories about love, friendship, and responsibilities–stories about ordinary life told in an extraordinarily compelling voice. As she puts it, with typical wryness, “Oh my goodness, the themes you stumble over as you make your way from day to day. Trust, Betrayal, Class, Hypocrisy, Love, Hate, Greed, Sickness, Health. It only needs War and Peace.”
Here, among other people and problems, we encounter a man who carries around brass knuckles, hoping to catch the lover Gallagher prefers to him–and whose behavior unexpectedly mirrors Gallagher’s own; the bizarre events that surround the disappearance of a woman with ties to both the Communist Party and Gallagher’s family; and the treachery of a trusted employee who is “bad with money” in more ways than one. The fragility of friendships, the fickleness of love, the marital crisis brought on by chronic illness–Gallagher dramatizes these universal themes with unique feeling, insight, and humor. This is a writer who will turn readers who come to her book as strangers into friends.
"As she proved in her wonderful memoir How I came Into My Inheritance, Gallagher has a perfect ear for the way we live now-particularly if we live in comfortable New York intelligentsia. But really, her stories-of an employee who embezzles money with the tacit knowledge and permission of her employer, of a friendship sunk by jealousy and the refusal to admit same, among many others-are as universal as her voice is distinctive. While some pieces are stronger than others-some readers may prefer Gallagher's examination of her family of origin in the Ukraine, say, over her deadpan, Sex and the City-ish (but without the sex) story of a love affair with a man she didn't much like-this slim volume has something for everyone. Or as Gallagher herself announces, 'Oh my goodness, the themes you stumble over as you make your way from day to day! Trust, Betrayal, Class, Hypocrisy, Love, Hate, Greed, Sickness, Health. It only needs War and Peace.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of the critically acclaimed memoir "How I Came into My Inheritance" now takes readers into her adult life and tells honest, funny, and highly distinctive stories about love, friendship, and responsibilities--stories about ordinary life told in an extraordinarily compelling voice.
About the Author
Dorothy Gallagher is the author of How I Came Into My Inheritance and Other True Stories, a New York Times Notable Book, one of Time magazine’s best books of the year, and a runner-up for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir; Hannah’s Daughters: Six Generations of an American Family, 1876—1976; and All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca, a New York Times Notable Book. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Grand Street. She was born and raised and now lives in New York.