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Washing the Dead

Prospect Park Books

Three generations of women confront family secrets in this exquisitely wrought debut novel that examines the experience of religious community, the perilous emotional path to adulthood, and the power of sacred rituals to repair damaged bonds between mothers and daughters.


“A fast-paced and compelling debut.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL

"A heartfelt story of loss, hope, and reconciliation."


“Brafman’s tale of three generations of women shows that woundedness—damage to mind and soul—can travel down the generations, and that so can kindness, courage and, ultimately, self-healing.” —HAARETZ

"Intimate, big-hearted, compassionate, and clear-eyed

. . . Michelle Brafman turns secrets into truths and the truth into the heart of fiction" —AMY BLOOM, author of Away and White Houses

"Heartfelt and genuine, Washing the Dead never betrays the complicated truths of family and tradition."
— DAVID BEZMOZGIS, author of Natasha and Other Stories and The Betrayers


"With the knife-blade of her prose honed razor sharp, Michelle Brafman skillfully dissects the bonds of mother-daughter relationships." —FAYE MOSKOWITZ, author of A Leak in the Heart and Her Face in the Mirror

“Brafman offers a fresh, vital narrative about guilt, love, loss, and the necessity of wrestling with the dark angel of a painful family legacy until it blesses you.”

—MARGARET MEYERS, author of Dislocation and Swimming in the Congo

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