Prayers for the Living
A presentation by Alan Cheuse
The novel Prayers for the Living unfolds as a layered family portrait of three generations of the Bloch family, whose members are collapsing under everyday burdens and brutal betrayals. Minnie Bloch's son, Manny, is a renowned rabbi respected by his congregants. No one suspects that he yearns for a life of greater personal glory, but when an oracular bird delivers what Manny believes to be a message from his deceased father, he abandons his congregation and his entire life spirals out of control. A devoted family matriarch, Minnie observes the tragic downfall of her family, unable to save them from themselves.
Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio's longtime book commentator, is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories and novellas, the memoir Fall Out of Heaven, and A Trance After Breakfast, a collection of travel essays. A regular contributor to the book pages of the San Francisco Chronicle, he teaches in the writing program at George Mason University and at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
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