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Upper West Side Story

Susan Pashman

ISBN 10: 1941861032 / ISBN 13: 9781941861035
Published by Harvard Square Editions, 2015
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Upper West Side Story

Publisher: Harvard Square Editions

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


Meet Bettina Grosjean, a professor of Women's History, and her husband, a high-ranking environmental policymaker in the New York City mayor's office. Once a pair of student radicals, they are now raising their two brainy children on New York's Upper West Side. Upper West Side Story is the tale of fierce parental love tested in a startling eruption of racial hostility and political chicanery within the very community they have long loved and helped to build. Despite the deep love and affection they have for each other, their domestic life is suddenly thrown into crisis by a shocking and tragic event: During a school field trip, their son Zach and his best friend, Cyrus, are horsing around when, in a freak accident, Cyrus falls down a flight of stairs. The fact that Cyrus is black, that his mother is Bettina's closest friend, that jealousy, suspicion and resentment have long been simmering in the community, and that there are powerful political forces at work as well-all conspire to reveal an ugly underbelly of the community the Grosjeans have worked so hard to fashion into a model of an enlightened, multiracial world. Upper West Side Story is also the story of a remarkable multi-racial friendship, a love of two women united by their ideals and their devotion to their children, then divided by events that spiral out of control.


"It's hard to find a novel so candid in its portrayals; so hard-hitting in its examples, and so realistic. The dialogues parents and children share over poverty, loss, racial prejudice and observation, are shining examples of what transpires in many an American home to explain the incongruities of not only racial interactions, but the effects of poverty.Crime and punishment, truth and lies, divided communities and divided lives: it's all here, bound together by friendship, loss, and a boy's experiences which lead him to form a bigger goal in life." - Around the World in Books

"In Upper West Side Story, a first novel by philosophy professor and former attorney Susan Pashman, two families in Manhattan are pitted against each other after a tragic accident (possibly a crime) goes from the personal to the political." - Bay State Readers Advisory 

"Susan Pashman's book does what Sue Miller's "The Good Mother" did for an earlier era. It exposes the tensions beneath polite, contented liberal society and how they can explode when something goes wrong. Well observed and heartbreaking."
Hanna Rosin, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic; Double X Founding Editor, Slate; Author of The End of Men: And the Beginning Of Women.

"What if The Bonfire of the Vanities
 was set in the present time and told from a woman's perspective? Upper West Side Story gives you an irresistible answer."
Lara Vapnyar is the author of Memoirs of a Muse; There Are Jews In My House;and The Scent of Pine.

"Susan Pashman handles a tough and vital subject with unusual daring and sensitivity.  Upper West Side Story
 is a gripping novel."
Hilma Wolitzer, best-selling author of An Available Man, Hearts, and The Doctor's Daughter.

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