Thursday, April 23, 2015

[Book Tour Spotlight] A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell




A Reunion Of Ghosts
A Reunion of Ghosts

A compulsively readable literary masterpiece, A Reunion of Ghosts is the shared confessional of three sisters who have decided to kill themselves at the end of the 20th century, honoring the dark legacy that has haunted their extraordinary family for decades

How do three sisters write a single suicide note?

In the waning days of 1999, the Alter sisters—Lady, Vee, and Delph—finalize their plans to end their lives. Their reasons are not theirs alone; they are the last in a long line of Alters who have killed themselves, beginning with their great-grandmother, the wife of a Jewish Nobel Prize-winning chemist who developed the first poison gas used in World War I and the lethal agent used in Third Reich gas chambers. The chemist himself, their son Richard, and Richard’s children all followed suit.

The childless sisters also define themselves by their own bad luck. Lady, the oldest, never really resumed living after her divorce. Vee is facing cancer’s return. And Delph, the youngest, is resigned to a spinster’s life of stifled dreams. But despite their pain they love each other fiercely, and share a darkly brilliant sense of humor.

As they gather in the ancestral Upper West Side apartment to close the circle of the Alter curse, an epic story about four generations of one family—inspired in part by the troubled life of German-Jewish Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of chlorine gas—unfolds. A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent tale of fate and blood, sin and absolution; partly a memoir of sisters unified by a singular burden, partly an unflinching eulogy of those who have gone before, and above all a profound commentary on the events of the 20th century.
 

Praise for a reunion of ghosts

A rich portrait of a complicated family, at turns violent and hilarious, shot through with love and death and the scars that reappear generation after generation.” — Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers
This is a triumphant, beautiful, and devastating novel about coincidences, family, and the sins of our fathers.” — Anthony Doerr, New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See
“For the Alter sisters, living with the guilt of the generations, there is only one way out…. This novel is a carefully crafted, thought-provoking examination of history past and present as seen through the eyes of a complex yet humble family.” — Booklist
A clever, modern tale that…hearkens back to…a host of unusual, lively memorable characters.… Darkly humorous.” — Library Journal
“Mitchell explores the mixed-blessing bonds of family with wry wit. This original tale is black comedy at its best.” — People Book of the Week
What’s so funny about three sisters bent on committing suicide? Plenty, in the imagination of Judith Claire Mitchell…. Darkly witty.” — Dallas Morning News

Judith Claire MitchellAbout Judith Claire Mitchell

Judith Claire Mitchell, author of the novelThe Last Day of the War, is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Judy has received fellowships from the James A. Michener/Copernicus Society, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, the artist Don Friedlich.
Find out more about Judith at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

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