Washing The Dead





  • “A fast–paced and compelling debut novel.”—LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • “A heartfelt story of loss, hope, and reconciliation. (Brafman) captures the complex essence of the mother-daughter relationship with honesty and sincerity.” —BOOKLIST
  • “Brafman’s tale of three generations of women shows that woundednessdamage to mind and soulcan travel down the generations, and that so can kindness, courage, and ultimately, self-healing. HAARETZ 
  • ” . . . (a) beautifully wrought novel, one in which Brafman examines the inner lives of her characters with the dexterity of a surgeon and the compassion of a saint.” —LILITH MAGAZINE 
  • “Truly and enjoyable book.” —LAKE EFFECT (WUWM/NPR)
  • “A dynamic tale of family relationships, betrayal, and absolution.”  —SHEPHERD EXPRESS
  • “Gripping story.”—[PANK]
  • “Compelling.” THE NEW YORK JEWISH WEEK
  • “Striking debut novel.” —THE JEWISH NEWS WEEKLY
  • “Intimate, big-hearted, compassionate and clear-eyed, in this novel Brafman turns secrets into truths and the truth into the heart of fiction.”— AMY BLOOM, author of Lucky Us
  • “(Brafman) puts her mother-and-daughter characters through the fire. Yet on the other side, each comes out refined, understanding that the legacy of one’s family requires understanding and true forgiveness, which may be the greatest mitzvah of all.— NEWPAGES 
  • “Heartfelt and genuine, Michelle Brafman’s Washing the Dead never betrays the complicated truths of family and tradition.” — DAVID BEZMOZGIS, author of The Betrayers
  • “From roots in one religious tradition, comes a tale of emotional redemption for all of us. Brafman’s astonishing compassion for all human frailty infuses this story about the need for truth and the promise of forgiveness.” — HELEN SIMONSON, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
  • “Like a Jewish Anne Lamott, Michelle Brafman reels you in with warmth, depth and heart.  . . Brafman has written a charming and original spiritual page-turner about love,  forgiveness, and family life.” — SUSAN COLL, author of The Stager

Photo of Michelle Brafman leaning against table
Michelle Brafman is the author of We Named Them All: Stories. Her fiction has earned numerous awards including a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and her essays have appeared in Tablet, Slate, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She teaches at the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing program.