Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy


Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Post Hill Press
Publish Date
5.65 X 8.62 X 1.1 inches | 1.33 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founder of Ms. magazine, is a nationally acclaimed writer, activist, and public speaker. The author of twelve books, she has also published articles and essays in numerous print and online periodicals, including the New York Times, The Nation, and Huffington Post. She is a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus and the Ms. Foundation for Women; a past president of the Authors Guild and Americans for Peace Now; and has served on the boards of the Harvard Divinity School Women in Religion Program and the Brandeis University Women's and Gender Studies Program. Among her many honors is a Yale University Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, a Matrix Award for excellence in communication and the arts, and an Emmy Award for her work as consulting editor on the TV version of Marlo Thomas's Free to Be...You and Me. Pogrebin lives with her husband in New York City and Stockbridge, Massachusetts.


"This is a memoir wonderfully grounded in the vibrancy of Jewish-American life, circa mid-20th-century. Its warmth and affection are contagious." --Vivian Gornick, literary critic, essayist, and memoirist
"You don't have to be Jewish to love Shanda. (I grew up a Congregationalist Christian). You will marvel at Pogrebin's always compassionate, often funny descriptions of the astounding family secrets kept by those nearest and dearest to her. (My language would not have been quite so wonderful!)." --Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder (Colorado)
"Pogrebin divulges her own family's astonishing array of secrets and delves into the annals and anthropology of Judaism and feminism, of fat shaming and sexual shaming, and more. Shanda is a book for anyone who has ever felt or feared shame, which is to say, this is a book for everyone."--Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, columnist, and author
"In her revealing memoir, Pogrebin, widely known for her intelligence, style, generosity, and boldness, admits the heavy burden of secrets, including her own which she has long carried. Shanda, her clear-eyed look at one immigrant family's habit of secrecy and fear of shame reveals why a lifetime of trying to uncover hidden truths has informed her insightful books and articles on topics many fear to tackle." --Ruth J. Abram, historian and Founding President of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
"Pogrebin tells personal stories that, despite their particularity, speak to everyone's experience, and the wisdom she draws from Jewish teachings speaks to readers of any faith tradition or cultural heritage. Like all great memoirs, Shanda is an intimate reflection of the human in all of us." --David Kraemer, professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, and library director at the Jewish Theological Seminary
"From its opening lines, Shanda captures our universal feelings about secrets and shame, and never lets us go. In this emotionally deep, often profoundly funny memoir, Letty Cottin Pogrebin confronts the darkness, shrinks it, and brings us out into the light. Her literary voice is one-in-a-million." --Tovah Feldshuh, Tony and Emmy-nominated actress, writer, and playwright
"With unflinching honesty, Pogrebin takes on the defining role of shame in her family, helps us name our own vulnerabilities, and reframes humiliation and secrecy into a powerful reckoning with our hidden truths and by extension, our humanity. Shanda is amazing, relatable, her bravest book yet." --Angela Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue (NYC), first Asian-American to be ordained a rabbi
"Secrets are costly--heavy weights to carry around. In Shanda, Letty Cottin Pogrebin takes aim at shame, the factory where the costliest secrets are made. She dismantles the machinery of shame, and she does it with stories that are vivid, emotional, and unforgettable." --Alan Alda, actor, author, and director
"Pogrebin has written much about family, politics, revolution, and evolution. Now she brings her fulsome attention to private and public shame, the personal secrets that are ever-haunting, and the national shame that causes brutal conflicts and global disasters. Shanda is a memoir about secrets that can paralyze us or, when released, help us fly." --Judy Collins, singer, author, and activist
"With wit, erudition, and searing honesty, Shanda unfolds like a riveting mystery novel--you can't stop reading until the very end. A powerful subject, treated with sensitivity and grace." --Francine Klagsbrun, author of "Lioness: Golda Meir" and the "Nation of Israel"
"Pride may be a deadly sin, but shame is simply deadly. With her trenchant wit and generous heart, Letty Cottin Pogrebin explores the theological and historical imperatives that drove her family to conceal pain and bury truths in service to misguided ideas of propriety and perfectionism. Shanda is a bracing book: both liberating and exhilarating." --Geraldine Brooks, journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist