25th Anniversary Edition
“This eclectic first novel about a Jewish family with three daughters unfolds through the female voices of the family; even the much-maligned mother is given the chance to speak and defend herself. Most of the plot concerns two of the sisters: Nadine, a troubled violin player, who has been estranged from her family since the Friday evening she set her hair on fire; and Jane, who is torn between her political identity as a lesbian and her family identity as a “good daughter”—a conflict that comes to a head as she prepares to be maid of honor in the wedding of the third sister, Electa. Nadine and Jane’s accidental meeting in New Chelm, the lesbian Jewish community in which they both reside, is the beginning of a series of events that eventually lead the sisters back to their family. A number of surprising and hugely comical turns keeps the story moving.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound makes lesbian lives visible in a Jewish world where families struggle with feminism and lesbianism together.” —Julie R. Enszer, editor of Sinister Wisdom
“What a gift to the world—this modern classic blend of magic-realism, Jewish fable, and lesbian drama is every bit as powerful today as I remember. Give yourself a treat already—read this!” —Elana Dykewomon, author of Beyond the Pale
Winner of the 1992 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction
Winner of the IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award in 1994
Tour de force Jewish magic realism that Isaac Bashevis Singer might have written if he’d been a contemporary lesbian.
Nadine Pagan’s dyke sister Jane wants to find her. Her lover Rose wants to marry her. And her mother Fay wants to forget her. All Nadine wants is to stop the buzzing in her head.
Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound follows Nadine’s (née Morningstar) adventures as she escapes from her incendiary Jewish family into the lesbian town of New Chelm—and far beyond. This is the novel Isaac Bashevis Singer might have written if he’d been a lesbian with a keen eye for contemporary middle-class assimilation. It’s Jewish magical lesbian realism, a good story, and a dynamic piece of writing.
Judith Katz is the author of two published novels, The Escape Artist, and Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound. She has received Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and National Endowment fellowships for fiction. She is an academic advisor at the University of Minnesota.