Artist / Writer


251 pages
U.S. $15.95
Confrontation Press of Long Island University

To order:
Confrontation Press


Sofia and Zolton Zeller arrive on Ellis Island at the end of the 19th century with the hopes of raising their family in a social and political climate more hospitable than their native Poland. Years later, as Sofia lies dying, she asks her first-generation American sons, Sherman and Abe, to pledge to stick together and protect their younger sister. Pat Kaufman’s novel, Perpetual Kin, is about the Zellers, caught between Old and New World traditions as they struggle to overcome the challenges that face immigrants. This tender, lyrical and often uproarious account of these passionate people attempting to bridge the gap between their Jewish heritage and the new world in which they find themselves, chronicles three generations of New Yorkers on their journey from New York’s Lower East Side to Park Avenue. Kaufman “has a sharp-shooter's eye for the comedy, tragedy and inanity of family dynamics and uses it to reveal piercing lessons about troubles and disasters of love, power, and loyalty,” says Nat Simeon, a professor at St. Louis University.

What the Reviewer's Say...

“Kaufman's style is brisk and tender, a lyrical mockery belying an affectionate sentiment towards her subject and subjects. Witty. Wry humor. A delight to read.” --Martin Tucker, Editor Confrontation Magazine

“Pat Kaufman deploys Jane Austen-like social analysis and Malumud-like economy of language to depict three generations of New Yorkers on their way from the Lower East Side to Park Avenue and, finally, to Westchester. She has a sharpshooter's eye for the comedy, tragedy and inanity of family dynamics and uses it to reveal piercing lessons about troubles and disasters of love, power, and loyalty.” --Nat Simon, Professor, St. Louis University

“Pat Kaufman’s book is a marvelously humane engagement with the truth that kinship—the contradictory communion of irreconcilables—lasts in perpetuity, even when nothing else does; that dealing with this, as best we can, gives meaning to the living and the dead.” --Macdara Woods, Poet, Aosdána

“What do I value in this novel? Its creation of people—real ones. They are alive, vital, and I was emotionally engaged with them throughout. Though they have their virtues and strengths, they are mainly flawed, like us all. This brings me to another of the strengths of Pat Kaufman's writing—her honesty. It is of the steely, unflinching kind; she doesn't present a pretty or cheery picture of life. Yet there is humor throughout; not jokes or one-liners, but the humor that springs from the nature of her characters. The prose is clear, simple and concise; it flows—not smoothly but with the jerky, random, headlong momentum of life. Pat Kaufman has the innate instincts of a true writer. She covers the spans of lives by hitting on the important moments, thus distilling these lives into set pieces that resonate. This is a novel conceived with intelligence; it's about things that matter. Read Perpetual Kin; you will be rewarded. --Phillip Routh, novelist


© Patricia Kaufman. All Rights Reserved

Website: ArtSource Studio