Dorothy Gallagher’s critically acclaimed memoir, How I Came Into My Inheritance, told of her childhood in 1940s New York as the daughter of left-wing Russian Jewish immigrants. Time magazine called it “a piercingly funny book . . . unsentimental, breezy, blunt.” In Strangers in the House, this brilliant stylist takes us into her adult life and tells us honest, funny, and highly distinctive stories about love, friendship, and responsibilities–stories about ordinary life told in an extraordinarily compelling voice. As she puts it, with typical wryness, “Oh my goodness, the themes you stumble over as you make your way from day to day. Trust, Betrayal, Class, Hypocrisy, Love, Hate, Greed, Sickness, Health. It only needs War and Peace.”
Here, among other people and problems, we encounter a man who carries around brass knuckles, hoping to catch the lover Gallagher prefers to him–and whose behavior unexpectedly mirrors Gallagher’s own; the bizarre events that surround the disappearance of a woman with ties to both the Communist Party and Gallagher’s family; and the treachery of a trusted employee who is “bad with money” in more ways than one. The fragility of friendships, the fickleness of love, the marital crisis brought on by chronic illness–Gallagher dramatizes these universal themes with unique feeling, insight, and humor. This is a writer who will turn readers who come to her book as strangers into friends.
From the Hardcover edition.