For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors

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Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
University of Iowa Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.65 pounds
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About the Author

Laura Esther Wolfson's writings have appeared in the Bellingham Review, Columbia Journal, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Daily,, Superstition Review, Sun, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.


"Laura Esther Wolfson's first collection is one of the most accomplished and inviting debuts of a personal essayist in years. She has translated, in effect, her psyche and those she encounters with rueful honesty for our reading pleasure. I found it a real page-turner."--Phillip Lopate, author, Against Joie de Vivre

"Set variously in America, France, and the former Soviet Union, these interlinked stories have a certain magic about them. They speak of loss and disappointment, of foiled ambitions and failed marriages. And yet there is something uplifting about them--owing no doubt to the author's reserves of talent and wisdom."--Daphne Merkin, author, The Fame Lunches

"This is a marvelous collection. What lifts it so far above the usual offerings is something I can only call soulfulness. Wolfson's prose is like strong Russian tea; it has a depth of flavor that only a long, devoted steeping in life and literature can produce."--Emily Fox Gordon, author, Mockingbird Years

"This book is about many things: love, language, love of language, the meaning of home and country and family. Mostly, though, it's about the subtle, perennial tensions between the lives we think we want and the lives we actually make. For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors is poignant, sophisticated, and as soulful as it is brainy. I admire it immensely."--Meghan Daum, judge, Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction, author, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

"A woman sits musing on all she has lived through--her two marriages, her lifelong desire to write, her relation to the Russian language, the lung disease that is slowly overpowering her. Searching for the right distance from which to make large sense of it all, she adopts a tone of voice that is richly reflective of all that has gone before. This voice lives on in the reader's mind long after the last page of For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors--an unusually stirring memoir--has been turned."--Vivian Gornick, author, Fierce Attachments