Fiction Books:

Perpetual Kin


Paperback / softback

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Perpetual Kin by Pat Kaufman

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Perpetual Kin is a kippers-to-caviar American story ...a novel about a family caught between Old and New World traditions and hopes. Pat Kaufman's style is brisk and tender, a lyrical mockery belying an affectionate sentiment towards her subject and subjects. Sherman and Abe Zeller, first-generation Americans, make a vow at their dying mother's bedside always to stick together. Their little sister Gwendolyn orchestrates Abe's marriage to her best friend Sadie and is horrified when they honeymoon without her. Worse, Sherman elopes with a total stranger. Gwendolyn, devastated, quickly marries Abe's best friend. The three couples are incestuously close, become wealthy with an inordinate respect for money as safety. Their internecine battles rage as Hitler rises and falls. Their children grow up and seek independence, bewildering them. "Pat Kaufman deploys her Jane Austen-like social analysis and Malamud-like economy of language to depict three generations of New Yorkers on their way from the Lower East Side to Park Avenue and Westchester. She has a sharp-shooter's eye for the comedy, tragedy, and inanity of family dynamics and uses it to reveal piercing lessons about trouble and disasters of love, power, and loyalty." -Nat Simeon, Professor, St. Louis University "Kaufman's book is a marvelously humane engagement with the truth that kinship--the contradictory communion of irreconcilable desires--lasts into perpetuity. And the further truth her book illustrates is that we deal with kinship as best we can, for it gives meaning to both the living and the dead." -Macdara Woods, Poet, Aosdana
Release date NZ
March 15th, 2006
Country of Publication
United States
Confrontation Press
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