Lynne Sharon Schwartz

In the Family Way: an Urban Comedy

"Lynne Sharon Schwartz has taken family life (not your usual family, by any means), the urban myths of New York's Upper West Side, and the changing sexual styles of our day, added her own dry wit, merciless eye, a dash of sympathy, and come up with her own end-of-the-century Comedie Humaine. A quirky, charming, and original novel." Daniel Stern.

Roy, a psychotherapist, and his first wife, Bea, a caterer, are the linchpins of an extended family dispersed through an apartment building on New York's Upper West Side. Around them cluster their four children (two of them Vietnamese twins) with assorted friends and lovers; Roy's next two wives, one of them stolen from a neurotic patient; and Bea's lover (the Russian emigre superintendent), lesbian artist sister, and caustic mother (the landlady.)

In the Family Way takes aim at contemporary social and sexual behavior as this confused but clever cast of characters, with their entanglements and betrayals, seeks love and happiness in the free-for-all nineties. Blinded by self-deception and driven by self-gratification, they couple and uncouple as they struggle to redefine the idea of family.

"Lynne Sharon Schwartz combines hilarity with keen insight as she romps through the lives of these memorable New Yorkers. Amid the comedy, she manages to raise in subtle ways some important questions about the nature of moral freedom and responsibility. In the Family Way is as pleasurable to read as it is provocative." Joanna Scott

Selected Works

A second collection that goes beyond the first in its range of emotion, form, and content. Critics call See You in the Dark "a delightful repository of sly and wise poems."
Part memoir, part exploration of the idea of travel, this peripatetic book asks what travelers are seeking, what they are fleeing, and what they find. A contrarian view, both serious and whimsical.
A memoir that explores what the habit of reading means and how it can shape a life.
Selection of interviews with and essays on the late writer, W.G. Sebald
A precocious adolescent finds unusual ways to escape Brooklyn conformity and explore the wider world.
A rich tapestry of tragic loss and the complicated struggle to find a path through darkness.
"The first fiction to weave the shock of 9/11 into ordinary lives... Worth a thousand pictures."
--Dan Wakefield
"Schwartz takes deadly aim at contemporary mores in this hilarious comedy of manners." Chicago Tribune
Short stories
"No one reads us better than Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Her precise, unflinching stories discover meaning in our pain." Frederick Busch
Children's book
This classic children's book retells the Passover story. With beautiful original paintings by Ori Sherman.

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