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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Between Gods

A Memoir

by (author) Alison Pick

Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
Personal Memoirs, Religious, Jewish
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price

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"A courageous and heart-opening journey, exquisitely told." --Edmonton Journal
     Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a supportive, loving family. She grew up laughing with her sister and cousins, and doting on her grandparents. Then as a teenager, Alison made a discovery that instantly changed her understanding of her family, and her vision for her own life, forever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from the Czech Republic during WWII, were Jewish--and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. She also discovered that her own father had not known of this history until, in his twenties, he had a chance encounter with an old family friend--and then he, too, had kept the secret from Alison and her sister.
    In her early thirties, engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend but struggling with a crippling depression, Alison slowly but doggedly began to research and uncover her Jewish heritage. Eventually she came to realize that her true path forward was to reclaim her history and indentity as a Jew. But even then, one seemingly insurmountable problem remained: her mother wasn't Jewish, so technically Alison wasn't either. In this by times raw, by times sublime memoir, Alison recounts her struggle with the meaning of her faith, her journey to convert to Judaism, her battle with depression, and her path towards facing and accepting the past and embracing the future--including starting a new family of her own. This is her unusual and gripping story, told in crystalline prose and with all the nuance and drama of a novel, but illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for the lives of all those who carry on after.

About the author

Alison Pick's most recent novel is Far to Go, winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction and nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Rights have been sold internationally and the book has been optioned for film. Pick was the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award winner for most promising unpublished writer under 35 in Canada. She has published one other novel, The Sweet Edge, and two poetry collections, The Dream World and Question & Answer. She is currently on the Faculty of the Humber School for Writers and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her memoir Between Gods, from which this essay is loosely excerpted, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2014.

Alison Pick's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A sometimes wincingly honest diary, filled with malaise and dread vulnerability. But within the frame of the book, Pick's intelligence and intent to observe her moral possibilities remain apparent." --The Globe and Mail

Other titles by Alison Pick