Ann S. Epstein presents her historical fiction novel Tazia and Gemma
Join Ann S. Epstein, winner of the 2017 Walter Sullivan Prize for Rising Talent, for an author talk and signing as she presents her sweeping historical novel, Tazia and Gemma. Spanning 1911 to 1961, Tazia and Gemma is told from the perspective of an unwed mother, whose tale moves forward in time, and her daughter, whose search for her father moves backward. Author Lawrence Coates praised the novel, saying “Epstein’s work shows a deep affection for her many memorable characters, and Tazia’s dramatic encounters across the landscape of America over fifty years encapsulates our history from new and seldom-heard-from perspectives. A deeply-researched, deeply-felt, and deeply enjoyable novel.”
About the Author
Ann S. Epstein writes novels, short stories, memoir, craft articles, and book reviews. She is the author of On the Shore (Vine Leaves Press, 2017) and A Brain. A Heart. The Nerve. (Alternative Book Press, 2018). Her other work appears in Sewanee Review (winner, Walter Sullivan Prize), PRISM International, Ascent, The Long Story, Saranac Review, The Madison Review, Passages North, Red Rock Review, William and Mary Review, Tahoma Literary Review, The Copperfield Review, The Normal School, Carbon Culture Review, Earth's Daughters, The Offbeat, Wilderness House Literary Review, and other journals. In addition to writing, she has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and M.F.A. in textiles. Her historical works mix fact and fiction, and she is gratified to have forgotten what is and is not real by the time a story is finished. To learn more about her work, visit her website: asewovenwords.com and follow Ann S. Epstein Writer on Facebook and Twitter.
Praise for Tazia and Gemma
“This is compulsively readable fiction: vivid, curious, and moving. It’s also an intimate chronicle of early twentieth-century American history that needs to be remembered right now. The daily lives of working-class people, immigrants, minorities, and women—Epstein tells their stories with the attentiveness and dignity they deserve. You deserve to pick up this novel, for its lessons and its pleasures.” Polly Rosenwaike, Author of Look How Happy I’m Making You
“Epstein weaves a nonlinear tale that seeks to reconcile race, religion, personal identity, truth, mother-daughter relationships and more, and which proves (as most human experience) in some ways satisfying and in others, impossible. The conflict in Tazia and Gemma makes a fascinating read.” L. E. Kimball, Author of Seasonal Roads
About Tazia and Gemma
Spanning 1911 to 1961, Tazia and Gemma is told from the perspective of an unwed mother, whose tale moves forward in time, and her daughter, whose search for her father moves backward. Tazia, a pregnant seventeen-year-old Italian immigrant and survivor of the Triangle Waist Company fire, flees New York, leaving her married lover to think she miscarried the baby he urged her to abort. To support herself and her daughter Gemma, Tazia takes low-wage jobs as she migrates westward. Gemma, now fifty, embarks on an eastward journey to find her father, eventually tracing her roots to Italy. In the end, Tazia no longer needs to escape her history, while Gemma finds that her identity leads back to her mother. The narrative illuminates the tension between assimilation versus honoring one’s heritage, and confronts the struggle for self-respect in the face of discrimination and demeaning work conditions—issues both timely and timeless.