Bywater Books is pleased to announce the publication of Hilary Zaid’s breathtaking novel, Paper is White.

A woman’s clandestine entanglement with a wily Holocaust survivor leads to a search for buried history that could very well change her life.

When oral historian Ellen Margolis and her girlfriend decide to get married, Ellen realizes that she can’t go through with a wedding until she tells her grandmother. There’s only one problem: her grandmother is dead. As the two young women beat their own early path toward marriage equality, Ellen’s longing to plumb that voluminous silence draws her into a clandestine entanglement with a wily Holocaust survivor–a woman with more to hide than tell–and a secret search for buried history that threatens to disrupt all of Ellen’s plans. If there is to be a wedding Ellen must decide: How much do you need to share to be true to the one you love? Set in ebullient, 1990s Dot-com era San Francisco,  Paper is White is a novel about the gravitational pull of the past and the words we must find to make ourselves whole.

“Written across histories as seemingly varied as Lithuania’s Jewish Kovno Ghetto and Queer Nation San Francisco, Paper Is White connects them in a very different sort of adventure novel, where remembering someone you love becomes one of the most radical things you can do. Zaid is fierce, a rebel with a cause, and her breathtaking leaps of imagination make new worlds possible.” —Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night

“Paper Is White draws you in, word by word, sentence by sentence, until you’re so immersed in its world you can’t stop reading. Exploring the relationship between intimacy and truth-telling, as well as how past secrets complicate present-day commitments, this beautiful novel reveals generations of love.”—Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of The Evolution of Love

HILARY ZAID is an alumna of the Tin House Writer’s Workshop and the James D. Houston Scholar at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online publications, including Lilith MagazineThe Utne Reader, Southwest Review and CALYX. Her story “The Dark Between the Stars” is the winner of the 2014 BLOOM Chapbook Prize for Fiction, and her story “For Non-Speakers of the Mother Tongue” is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She holds an AB, summa cum laude, in English & American Literature from Harvard and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California, with her spouse and two children.

Share This