Boris Fishman
Boris Fishman
Boris Fishman

Author of two New York Times Notable Books of the Year and winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal

Boris Fishman

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Bio

Boris Fishman is the author of the novels "A Replacement Life" (which won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal)​,​ and "Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo​,​" both New York Times Notable Books of the Year​,​ and "Savage Feast​,​" a family memoir told through recipes. His journalism​,​ essays​,​ and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker​,​ The New York Times Magazine​,​ The Guardian​,​ The Wall Street Journal​,​ The Washington Post​,​ Travel + Leisure​,​ Vogue​,​ and many other publications. He has taught at Princeton University​,​ and now lives with his wife and daughter in Missoula​,​ Montana​,​ where he teaches creative writing at the University of Montana.

Synopsis/Praise

“Boris Fishman’s first novel, A Replacement Life, is bold, ambitious, and wickedly smart. . . . The only problem with this novel is that its covers are too close together. . . . Undoubtedly, comparisons will be made—to Bellow and the Roths (Henry and Philip), as well as to . . . Bernard Malamud.” — Patricia T. O’Conner, The New York Times Book Review on "A Replacement Life" “Fishman, like his protagonist, is a born storyteller with a tremendous gift for language on all brow levels, making for a captivating and rare first novel that is tender, learned, funny, and deeply soulful—frequently all at the same time.” — The San Francisco Chronicle on "A Replacement Life" “Fishman’s firm yet light authorial hand, his gift for character and plot development, and his searing use of the English language belie his youth and his novice-novelist status. His witty dialogue and wry, believable descriptions leaven the dark, dense bread of the tale.” — The Chicago Tribune on "A Replacement Life" “An ingenious debut. . . . The novel is often very funny, but its most rewarding moments come as Slava, listening to the war stories of . . . elderly strangers, finds himself drawing closer to the grandmother whose secrets once seemed lost to him.” — The New Yorker on "A Replacement Life" “Powerful yet tender . . . real and vibrant. . . . Fishman never loses the reader’s trust. No line in this book rings false, no character is unheard, no event seems like a plot device.” —Newsweek on "A Replacement Life" “Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo,” the second novel by the tender, dolorous, sharp and funny writer Boris Fishman, is the story of an adopted child and an adopted country; it is a tale of what it means to be foreign. Like “A Replacement Life,” Fishman’s first novel, the book is peopled by characters so eccentric they feel like family. He has the rare gift of startling us with a foreign culture and simultaneously making it feel like home... Fishman’s appreciation of superstition, New and Old World, is subtle, comic and irresistible... “Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo” is a novel about finding the right words for what was once foreign but is no longer. It is suffused with sadness as well as humor, with hope as well as weary despair, and Fishman describes the turmoil of family, parenthood and cultural emotion with urgent, sly detachment. His language has the originality and imagination of someone who comes to English with unexpected thoughts and rhythms in his head, and he is, simply, a joy to read." — The New York Times Book Review on "Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo" “With graceful control and assurance, Fishman turns Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo into a layered story of identity and the challenges of weaving our many differences into compassionate bonds. So many things can drive a family apart; it’s a wonder that Alex, Maya and Max (or any of us) can hold it together. Immigration and adoption are not for wimps. Writing well about them is a true art. Fishman is very much up to the task–heartbreak, headaches, happiness and all.” — Shelf Awareness on "Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo" “[Fishman’s] second novel is a fresh, unpredictable departure from his first. Max may or may not do rodeo, but from now on expect Boris Fishman to do anything.” — The San Francisco Chronicle on "Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo" “An eloquent and uncynical tale of how far people must travel to find out what they truly want and who they truly are.” — The Chicago Tribune on "Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo" “I’ve been reading every food memoir available, including those by Anthony Bourdain, Gabrielle Hamilton, Ruth Reichl, Michael Pollan, Samin Nosrat, Michael Twitty, and now Boris Fishman. His is the most focused and most multilayered of these wonderful books.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer on "Savage Feast" “Mr. Fishman’s story — as a refugee, a seeker and an insatiable eater — is inherently compelling. But the book’s brilliance lies in the author’s self-awareness and honest appraisal of his, and his family’s shortcomings. He writes from the perspective of someone who learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable in his own skin — someone with no secrets left to keep." — The Wall Street Journal on "Savage Feast" "A tightly-written page turner." — The New York Times on "Savage Feast" "“This delightful, recipe-filled memoir from novelist Fishman follows his Jewish family—and their richly-described dinner tables—across three generations, from 1945 Belarus to 2017 Brooklyn,” Publishers Weekly says of Savage Feast. “Fishman’s immigrant saga masterfully evokes a family that survives, united by food…There’s a large web of characters and anecdotes, but Fishman grounds the narrative with his witty prose and well-translated family recipes.” — Publishers Weekly on "Savage Feast"

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