Surrender, Dorothy

Meg Wolitzer (Author)


From the New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, a "devastatingly on target" (Elle) novel about a young woman's accidental death and its effect on her family and friends.

For years, Sara Swerdlow was transported by an unfettered sense of immortality. Floating along on loving friendships and the adoration of her mother, Natalie, Sara's notion of death was entirely alien to her existence. But when a summer night's drive out for ice cream ends in tragedy, thirty-year-old Sara--"held aloft and shimmering for years"--finally lands.

Mining the intricate relationship between love and mourning, acclaimed novelist Meg Wolitzer explores a single, overriding question: who, finally, "owns" the excruciating loss of this young woman--her mother or her closest friends? Depicting the aftermath of Sara's shocking death with piercing humor and shattering realism, Surrender, Dorothy is the luminously thoughtful, deeply moving exploration of what it is to be a mother and a friend, and, above all, what it takes to heal from unthinkable loss.

Product Details

Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
July 01, 2000
5.28 X 0.6 X 8.24 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Meg Wolitzer is a fiction writer who, like most writers, is happiest when she's working. She is the author of ten novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Interestings. She lives in New York City.


Elle Devastatingly on target.
The New York Times Book Review There is an appealing delicacy to Wolitzer's writing and a skillful exploration of the almost invisible neuroses of the people passing through her pages....She is a witty and likable writer with a tenderhearted, critical awareness of the lighter-than-air quality of her characters.
Los Angeles Times Wolitzer's characters are surprising people....All platitudes about losing a child fall by the wayside as Natalie loosens her grip on her daughter, never fully, but enough to love.
Time Out New York Meg Wolitzer took a gamble on her fifth book. Her knack for comedy and tragedy makes her narrative gamble a literary success.
The New York Times Book Review Wolitzer shares her characters' knack for wry comedy; her comfort with gay-straight friendships brings to mind the affable novels of Stephen McCauley....Buried within this affecting novel is the troubling question of whether close friendships and close family ties can keep a person from finding romantic intimacy. Wolitzer's Sara didn't live long enough to explore that possibility; perhaps her survivors will be luckier.
Elle Wolitzer's voice is intimate, at once ruthless and tender, an old friend telling the unvarnished truth.
Mirabella Compassionate....With witty, unsparing, yet deeply humane insight, Wolitzer delicately excavates the ties that bind her characters' bruised inner lives to that of the dead woman, and concludes that the transactions between the living and the dead are long and complex....In attempts by turns sorrowful and farcical, Sara's survivors carve out an epitaph for her that provides both comfort and chill: Here. Gone. Here.
USA Today Wolitzer deftly combines the humorous with the sad.
Metrowest Daily News (Boston) The intricate, powerful, and emotionally complicated bond between a mother and daughter is at the heart of a touching new novel by Pushcart Prize-winning New York writer Meg Wolitzer. Surrender, Dorothy is Wolitzer's fifth in a prolific string of beautifully realized books that interweave family ties and intense friendships, creating narratives with equal parts eloquence and wit.
Time Out New York Wolitzer places familiar characters -- they are perpetually in grad school and got hooked on Sylvia Plath at pubertyin a subtly unique situation while expertly managing to skirt clich├ęs. Her speedy, serpentine sentences convey with skill and wit the shameful, proprietary issue that attends Sara's death: who has claim to the greatest grief?