A New York woman—married, Jewish, left-handed—carries on three simultaneous affairs. Distant, aloof, tough-talking, she is concerned more with God than religion, and blithely breaks seven of the Ten Commandments in her search for innocence and a safe place to land. She takes the Lord’s name in vain, dishonors her mother, her father, and the Sabbath. She lies. She steals, She covets. Rootless, bouncing from bed to bed, she knows she is pure of heart. If only she could find where her heart got lost. Erotic with a rare honesty, darkly humorous and profound, A Disturbance in One Place points to the small but infinitely deep cracks in our masks, drawing the reader irresistibly into the world of a woman who seems unable to decide whether she is out to prove or disprove the Talmudic wisdom: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.
Praise for A disturbance in one place
Winner of the Critics Choice Award and a
Barnes and Noble Discover New Authors Book
"Writing swift, pointed chapters . . . Kirshenbaum offers hilarious and sage advice in the battle of the sexes. Readers anxious for an entertaining female character to emulate, if only in their fantasies, will find themselves in good company."
"(Kirshenbaum is) a serious, intelligent writer with a keen sense of humor and strong sense of purpose."
"A Disturbance In One Place is a rogue book: erotic, dark, amusing. And, as rogues will, it breaks the reader's heart. Lyrical and prosaic, laced with sardonic wit, often hilarious, yet filled with an overwhelming sadness."
—The Review of Contemporary Fiction
"Kirshenbaum refuses to corral what is funny or sad into separate camps, but allows one to flip over into the other, creating unexpectedly poignant effects. . . . What at first seemed like a sexual travelogue deepens into a litany of longing, at once unsettling and deeply moving."
—San Francisco Review of Books
“Mordantly witty . . . The writing is deft, clever, and sharp. . . . Kirshenbaum has created a woman who is neither corrupted nor cynical, and we yearn, like the author, to set her free.”
—New York Newsday
"Kirshenbaum seems at times to be on a comic spree, but in the end this is a dark and powerful look at a troubled spirit."
Funny, quirky, and surprising."
—Iowa Press Citizen