The Empress of Weehawken by Irene Dische
A Novel

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Synopsis

At the end of what is (she cannot help observing) an extraordinary life, Elisabeth Rother has decided to write her memoirs. She brushes aside her narrow escape with her Jewish husband from the Nazis, and the perilous voyage to the New World of New Jersey. The subject that really consumes her is the waywardness of her impossible daughter, Renate, and her granddaughter, Irene. Renate performs autopsies on the bodies of politicians whom death has harvested in the nighttime arms of their mistresses. Worse, she sleeps on unironed sheets. Irene drops out of school to roam the world, refuses to correct her nose with plastic surgery, and shows alarming signs of enjoying sex. What is to be done with such women?

A curiously touching love letter to the difficult but sustaining love of mothers and daughters, The Empress of Weehawken is a masterpiece of comedy with an unexpected lilt of redemption at its close.
 

About Irene Dische

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Irene Dische's work has appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, and her books, published in twenty-two countries, have included international bestsellers. She divides her time between Berlin and Rhinebeck, New York.
 
Published February 5, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 328 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Empress of Weehawken

Kirkus Reviews

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Three generations of unconventional women figure in this autobiographical novel from Dische (The Job, 2002, etc.).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Empress of Weehawken: A N...

TimesUnion.com

between the reader and the book — deepens the novel and shows Dische’s talents at creating vivid and flawed characters who are also true.

Oct 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Empress of Weehawken: A N...

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