|Just the Way You Want Me
A Novel by Nora Eisenberg
Endowed with Beauty, Grace and Compassion, An
Achingly Realistic Portrait of 1950's America That Strongly Echoes Today's Political
A ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist
In response to 9/11 and the war in
In her widely praised memoir-novel, The War at Home, Nora Eisenberg combined great compassion, observation and humor to render the emotional and cultural complexities of just such a family. In this timely new novel, Eisenberg tells the story of Betsy Ross Vogel, daughter of the infamous Sam Vogel, a self-styled American patriot and charismatic labor leader in the 1950s who, refusing to sign a loyalty oath, runs afoul of the FBI and ends up running for the rest of his life. At the heart of this novel matters of love, loyalty, and honesty burn with rare intensity, as do alarming parallels to the politics of today. For then, as now, a with us or against us standard sought to silence those who raised their voices against government policy. And sadly, then, as now, children were left to face the frightening repercussions of their parents political choices.
bruising, funny and restless novel, Eisenberg examines the disfiguring legacies of Joseph
McCarthy's anti-Communist inquisition and supplies a probing meditation on the disorderly
world of a far-from-ordinary family, patiently weighing the question of who can be held
ultimately to account for their tribulations.
her second novel (after The War at Home), Eisenberg takes readers back to post-World War
II America, when McCarthyism was in full bloom [and presents] an achingly realistic
portrait of 1950s *
Some of Eisenberg's liveliest writing
with the foibles and self-deceptions of leftist circles, she portrays this milieu with a
mixture of satire and affection. Eisenberg has a sharp eye for the ways in which people
manage to deceive themselves [and] deftly portrays the drawbacks of a man so intent on
serving his cause and demonstrating his principles that he sacrifices the needs of his
wife and children.
Patriotism is a powerful
motivator. Love of country can bind political and cultural factions into one nation but
also can be wielded to punish those who don't conform to majority views. Idealism also has
two sides. True believers will make great sacrifices for their cause, but if their
ideological purity devolves into single-minded stubbornness, friends and family may be
gravely hurt. In her timely new novel, "Just the Way You Want Me," Nora
Eisenberg reminds us once again that wars of ideology incur collateral damage, and that
just as in shooting wars, it's often innocent women and children who are caught in the
line of fire.
Eisenberg weaves two distinct
plot lines--the strength of familial ties and the insidious effects of McCarthyism--into
her vibrant and edifying second novel [an] often humorous odyssey enlivened by the odd
assortment of family and friends her protagonist meets along the way.
Eisenberg follows a woman as she
searches for her fatherpresumed dead for 20 years
The mystery here never
overwhelms the charm of Betsys story, a comfortable balance between seriousness and
Eisenberg writes with an integrity, energy and social sense rare in contemporary American
fiction. With striking compassion and vision, she examines our past, to find values that
might guide us in a troubled present. A compelling new voice.
Eisenberg is one of our finest contemporary authors. With Just the Way You Want Me she once again brings us
her signature blend of dazzling prose, wild wit, and tremendous humanity. This book is a
An Interview With Nora
Eisenberg by ForeWord Magazine Editor Mardi Link