I am a scientist.

Been doing things lately like ironing every single summer dress that has been shoved in a bag for the past two months

Writing up a storm right now, also. Third person is a trip. I keep finishing something and then saying to myself, “Am I allowed to write like this?” I feel like I’m judging every character, which I am! But I have to. I have to have an opinion about all these people, or why bother writing? I find myself pulling back sometimes because it feels too personal, but I know when I let loose I’m at my best.

I’ve been accidentally reading all these books about the Holocaust, which has been helpful to my work even though my book is set in 2010. It’s just good to think about it in terms of mindset. I’ll say no more about that, only that last night I dubbed my novel-in-progress, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Jewishness.” A joke, but not. Also lately when people ask me what I’m writing about I say, “Apathetic Jews.”

After Will Leitch’s book party last night (I think it’s like his fiftieth book or something, and his youthful enthusiasm never wanes. He’s amazing), which featured a wide array of brooding bloggers (one of those “but if you are all here, then who is running the internet?” parties), and candy canes shaped like baseballs (one of which Goodwillie meticulously sucked for 45 minutes and it never shrank), I had dinner with Kate and Brendan and Patricia over at Patricia’s loft. We ate a delicious meal and spent a considerable amount of time trying to come up with a name for Patricia’s house in Nova Scotia, most of the suggestions for which were dirty and involved slang for the word “vagina.” (Well, mine did anyway.)

But then we got to talking Jews, and Kate told me that I should read the Old Testament because so many of the people in it are super messed up and even god is no sweetheart. I reminisced about how I grew up mesmerized by the Anne Frank story but by the time I actually made it to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam during my junior year abroad I was still so stoned from the night (day, weeek, month) before I remember feeling very little.

I do wonder what I would feel now.

I will judge others and myself from afar and up close in this book.


Out now!

Kirkus Reviews gives it a starred review: "A sharp-tongued, sweet-natured masterpiece of Jewish family life." Find more praise from The New York Times, Fresh Air, All Things Considered, The Washington Post and more, right here. Order an autographed copy.
Download book club discussion questions.

And in paperback:

The Melting Season. Watch the trailer, or see coverage from Chicago Tribune, Marie Claire, O, New York Times, and more here. Buy an autographed copy from my favorite local independent bookstore, WORD Brooklyn!

The Kept Man. Watch the trailer, and read reviews from People, Time Out New York, Interview and more right here

Instant Love. Read coverage from O, New York, Daily Candy, and more here.

I am happy to come visit your book club in person or via phone or skype! Email me directly for more info.


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The New York Times
NYTBR: All that We Hold Dear
NYT Mag: The Unlikely Chef
No, I'm the Narrator
A Shelf-Obsessed Writer
One Dark Night in My Neighborhood
An Apartment Affair

Life Lessons from Turning 40

The Hairpin
My History of Being Fat

Wall Street Journal
Fictional Foods: No Empty Calories

My Election Day

The Forward
A Chat with My Dad about Delicatessen

The Week
My 6 Favorite Books with Overweight Protagonists

Publishers Weekly
The Most Dysfunctional Families in Literature

Largehearted Boy
Book Notes: The Middlesteins
On the Men We Meet, and What Their Music Means to Us
Antiheroines: MK Reed
Antiheroines: Lisa Hanawalt
Antiheroines: Ellen Forney
Antiheroines: Emily Flake
Antiheroines: Vanessa Davis
Antiheroines: Julia Wertz
Antiheroines: Gabrielle Bell
Antiheroines: Sarah Glidden
Book Notes: The Kept Man
Ryan from Hallelujah the Hills Interviews Me
I Interview Ryan from Hallelujah the Hills
Book Notes: Instant Love

Jewish Book Council
Different, but Special

The Rumpus
Where I've Laid My Head
How To Write a Book in Two Months: The Rumpus Interview with Cole Stryker
The Fates Will Find Their Way Review
The Rumpus Interview with David Goodwillie and Teddy Wayne
The Rumpus Interview with Kate Christensen
The Last Book I Loved: Everything Matters!

Hit me with your vest shot
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Books you can dance to
Tracy Morgan cries for his mom -- and we cry, too

Poets & Writers
How to Use Tumblr to Connect with Readers (print only)

Lauren Groff Profile
Pizza Island Profile
The Rise of Small Presses
Wesley Stace Profile

Patrick Somerville Interview
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Kate Christensen Interview
Heather Havrilesky Interview
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Maile Meloy Interview
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Village Voice
The 10 Best Things From 2011 To Listen To While Writing, According To Actual Authors

The Millions
A Year in Reading

How to Hunt for Architectural Salvage with the Designers of Spritzenhaus
Peter Loughrey Interview

No Baby Next Door, Please

Essay: Crossroads

The Awl
Flicked Off: In Which Two Ladies Do Yoga Then See 'Eat Pray Love'

Book Forum
Reality Hunger Review

Five Chapters
The Last Movie

Double X
Schrödinger's Cake

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The One Time I Needed Planned Parenthood
Big Book News #4
The Complete Story of How My Bike Got Stolen, How I Found it on Craigslist, and How I Got it Back
Mountain Backdrop: White Sands Missile Park
Big Book News #3
On Outlining Books
Advance Praise for The Kept Man
Shaving Jonny
The Big Book News #2
Artsy and Fartsy go to Coney Island
Blurry Pictures of Girls with Mustaches
Key Names from Instant Love
How Did I Miss the Hook?
Two Days in May
The Big Book News
Idiotarod 2005
Kiss Me on the Bus
Ronald Protests the RNC
Existential Crap
Happy Hour
Taco Hell
Idiotarod 2004: Race, Rest, Finish
Behave, Boys. Behave
26 Pics of People Kissing
All About George
September 11, 2001
My Imaginary Assistant Amanda

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