One Bay One Book is a yearlong conversation reaching Bay Area adults through opportunities for lively Jewish learning. Stimulated by a selected book and its themes, the program connects readers through discussions, events, and informal conversations.
On Division by Goldie Goldbloom
“This is a novel that moves and affects us on so many levels—as a witness to the unremitting pain of losing a child, as an exploration of the dance of intimacy and interiority in a marriage that is nearly lifelong, and as a celebration of our endless capacity to create new life, and to create new lives for ourselves.” — Lilith
Surie Eckstein, a grandmother at fifty-seven, is stunned to learn that she is pregnant with twins. Feeling ashamed, she is unable to share the news even with her husband, Yidel, a respected ritual scribe who is ready to retire. As she nurses her secret and starts working clandestinely in a maternity clinic, spending time outside her domestic role for the first time, Surie’s understanding of her life begins to alter.
Surie and Yidel are also haunted by the memory of how they failed to support their son Lipa, who was rejected by his family and community for being gay.
In this intimate novel of a woman at a crossroads, Goldbloom deftly portrays the relationship of individuals to a close-knit community, the impact of secrets and lies, and the persistence of our past experiences in shaping our lives.
Goldie Goldbloom grew up as part of a farming family in Western Australia, where her grandfather settled after emigrating from England in the early 1900s as part of a search for a new Jewish homeland. Her first novel, The Paperbark Shoe, was a National Endowment for the Arts Big Reads selection. Goldbloom, who is Hasidic, has eight children and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.