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Our Short History

Fiction: Literary/ Women's Fiction
Unabridged   10.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/21/2017

Our Short History

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681684437
Digital Download ISBN:9781681684444


New York Times bestselling author Lauren Grodstein returns with a deeply compelling and heartfelt story about the depths of a parent's love and the struggle between keeping the past at bay and protecting a child’s future.

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Product Description

Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She's had to be: when Jacob's father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.

But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. Worried that he’ll break Jake’s heart, Karen finally makes the call, and is shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the news. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then, he can't seem to leave him alone. As she tries to play out her last days in the "right" way, Karen struggles with knowing that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son—let his father become a permanent part of his life—is the thing he needs from her the most.

With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.


"Narrator Karen White skillfully navigates the barrage of emotions in Grodstein's heartrending story of a dying mother who is writing a memoir for her young son to read when he's older." —AudioFile

"Like this book’s main character, the narration is raw and real and unforgettable." —Booklist Audio Review

"Karen White . . . did a great job with this one. She conveyed (fictional) Karen’s desperation and anger as persuasively as she did Karen’s pride and pettiness. . . . [an] excellent audiobook." —Everyday I Write The Book

"Grodstein's heartbreaking, character-driven story is told in the remarkable, believable voice of a courageous, sympathetic character." —Library Journal Starred Review

"Grodstein manages to walk the fine line between pathos and melodrama by painting Karen as a fully realized mother, sister, and friend, never allowing the cancer to consume her complex identity. Fans of Camille Pagán’s Life and Other Near-Death Experiences will love Karen’s unflinchingly honest journey." —Booklist Starred Review

"An unabashed tear duct rooter that should come with its own box of Kleenex Ultra Soft . . . keeps the pages turning." —New York Times

"Readers should have tissues nearby. Yet Our Short History, Lauren Grodstein's fifth work of fiction, is funny as well as poignant, sad but not maudlin." —Shelf Awareness

"Grodstein has a fine touch, alternately sarcastic, perceptive and wistful." —Star Tribune

“In Our Short History, Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it’s bigger--and stronger--than before. This novel will leave you appreciating both the messiness of life and the immense depths of love.” —Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

“Funny and fast-paced and extraordinarily insightful on every page . . . Anyone lucky enough to get roughed-up by Grodstein's devastating, fearlessly honest, often hilarious, gorgeously written novel will exit it changed.” —Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove

“In highlighting the fragility and depth of the relationship between a parent and a child, Grodstein miraculously makes you love the complexity of this world even as it tears you apart. Our Short History is a novel that will reverberate in your heart long after you finish it.” —Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

Author Bio

Lauren Grodstein is the author of four previous works of fiction, including the New York Times bestselling novel A Friend of the Family, which was a Washington Post Best Book Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a BookPage Best Book, and an Indie Next Pick. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.