The First Desire by Nancy Reisman

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When Sadie looks out her window and sees her bother standing on the front lawn she knows he can't bring good news. Fidgeting over coffee with sugar and cream he explains: Their sister is gone. Three days earlier Goldie left to go shopping and she has not returned. With Goldie's disappearance as the catalyst, The First Desire takes us deep into the life of the Cohen family and Buffalo, New York, from the Great Depression to the years immediately following World War II. Shifting perspectives from siblings Sadie, Jo, Goldie, and Irving we learn of the secrets they have managed to keep hidden--and of Lillian, the beautiful woman their father took as a lover while his wife was dying. In this astonishing novel Reisman brings to life the love, grief, and desires that ultimately bind one family together.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Nancy Reisman

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Nancy Reisman is the author of House Fires, a short story collection that won the 1999 Iowa Short Fiction Award. Her work has appeared in, among other anthologies and journals, Best American Short Stories 2001, Tin House, and The Kenyon Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She lives in Ann Arbor, where she currently teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan.
Published December 18, 2007 by Anchor. 322 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The First Desire

The New York Times

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There is a duality in Nancy Reisman's first novel between a desire for familial closeness and a desire to escape that claustrophobia.

Sep 09 2004 | Read Full Review of The First Desire

The New York Times

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Multiple viewpoints, an idiot sibling -- but Nancy Reisman's novel is set in Buffalo.

Sep 12 2004 | Read Full Review of The First Desire

Publishers Weekly

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Reisman's first novel (after the prize-winning collection, House Fires ) is mesmerizing, not because of the action of the plot, which is minimal, but because

Jul 19 2004 | Read Full Review of The First Desire

USA Today

The Falls, by Joyce Carol Oates, begins in 1950, where this book ends, and tells a different, decades-long family saga.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Though The First Desire is not for fans of picaresque narratives, those who enjoy (estranged) family sagas will enjoy the novel.

Oct 08 2007 | Read Full Review of The First Desire

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