River is the story of a fourteen-year-old girl who travels back in time, and across continents, encountering her maternal forebears when they were her age. From the Australian Outback, where she meets a young Aboriginal man, to brutal, racist South Africa during World War II, to the midst of a pogrom in Lithuania, and then all the way back to the Babylon of biblical times, Emily has deep encounters with the young women she meets, as well as with the history that shapes them—and ultimately, the histories that have mysteriously and yet powerfully shaped her own soul.
"Eloquent and polished, with characters who breathe and speak as if they are in the same room as the reader, this fourth novel by Nayman would be a valuable choice for teen Jewish studies as well as for YA and adult book discussion groups. Highly recommended. "
Lisa Rohrbaugh, Library Journal
“I’m shaken by Shira Nayman’s brilliant and mystical stories."
"There is breathtaking storytelling here, replete with psychological detail and stunning clarity."
“It is to Nayman’s great credit that her subtle handling of extremely dramatic material allows the reader to be deeply moved without feeling manipulated."
“Nayman’s stories hauntingly and beautifully unveil the depths of her characters. Each story is full of twists and secrets, yet each has an openess that makes history immediate. "
Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, New England Review, and Boulevard. She is the recipient of three year-long grants from the Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board, and is a recent MacDowell Fellow.
books by shira
River is the story of a fourteen-year-old girl who travels back in time, and across continents, encountering her maternal forbears when they were her age. Emily learns the histories that have mysteriously and yet powerfully shaped her own soul.
Awake in the Dark
Bold and deeply affecting, Awake in the Dark is a provocative and haunting work of fiction about who we are and how we are formed by history.
Set against the backdrop of the insanity of war, The Listener explores the havoc historical trauma plays with the psyche, and illuminates the uncertain boundary between sanity and insanity.
The Mind of Winter
A Mind of Winter is a complex, page-turning, literary psychological thriller, which takes up a rich array of themes: the ways in which we choose our beliefs and build our lives and the ways in which circumstances inevitably shape personal identity and destiny.