Miriam’s Well: A Modern Day Exodus
Fiction | Jewish Studies | Spirituality | Food | Travel | Isbn 9781888160970 | $21.99 | 586p | Preorder Now!
Check out Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s author website for events and more information.
In this modern day retelling of the Exodus, Miriam wanders the political and spiritual desert of a changing America. Torn between her roots as the Jewish daughter of a Black father and white mother, her yearning for home, and her brothers—Aaron, a successful New York City attorney; and Moses, an autistic Kansas artist.
Miriam, an astonishing cook and singer, has a knack for showing up to feed and help people at landmark events, including People’s Park during the Summer of Love, the Wounded Knee encampment in South Dakota, the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. As she seeks the promised land, she shows her people, and eventually herself, how to turn the chaos and despair of our times into music, meals, and miracles.
Praise for Miriam’s Well
“Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s retelling of Exodus is a sprawling tapestry, woven of all the threads of a modern-day Miriam’s ancestors, and her own present and future. From the Badagry Point of No Return and a sukkah in the Sinai Desert to a series of camps, communes, and cafés all across America, Miriam’s Well delves into the mystery of how we find our place in the world, within our families, even within ourselves.”
~ Bryn Greenwood, New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
“I fell in love with Miriam’s wisdom and her sweet engagements with the people she meets along her lush and vibrant travels. I was plunged to the depths of her nightmares, soared with her song, and emerged blessed to have made the journey with her. Miriam’s Well is the latest terrific book by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.”
~ Jocelyn Cullity, author of Amah & the Silk-Winged Pigeons
“This startlingly insightful and quietly confrontational novel by poet Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg courageously inserts the biblical prophet Miriam into many of the most daunting and provocative ethical conflicts since the early 60’s civil rights revolution, as though we are Israel after the Exodus from slavery and before the Promised Land. Mirriam-Goldberg’s story calls on readers to consider ‘Have I done enough?’ and ‘What is it that the Lord requires of you?’ A surprising page turner featuring multiple plot twists and turns, the moral challenges and clarity deserve more than attention, they demand debate. Do yourself a favor and share it with friends.”
~ Rabbi Mark H. Levin, author of Praying the Bible
“Miriam’s Well is truly a hearty feast, and a song of life’s bounty, of its “fragile miracle,” of its sorrows and its cycling, its joy, its mystery, its sorrows, its journeying. The vibrantly moving and compelling storytelling is immediate, intimate, and resounding; bringing us into a complex weaving of tales, told and untold, from the Biblical epic to the painful legacy of United States, which frame the story of one brave woman with an inexhaustible well of caring. Daughter, sister, lover, neighbor, friend, mother, Miriam is one extraordinary ordinary woman whose life is emblematic of our absolutely interdependent web of relationships, physical and metaphysical, over the seasons of a lifetime and the histories of our own time. In Mirriam-Goldberg’s rendering of the web of story that is Miriam’s, Aaron’s, Joseph’s, Moses’, and our own, we are brought into the gift of tenderness and compassion in heartening human response to our historical conundrums. The work is big hearted, embracing, and wonderfully embodies love’s plenty and the power and the beauty of the story, the song, the telling, to remember and transform us.”
~ Gale Jackson, author of Put Your Hands on Your Hips and Act Like a Woman: Song, Dance, Black History and Poetics in Performance
“Miriam’s Well is a page-turner that gently pulls the reader into the heroine’s quest while also chronicling the country’s cultural revolutions, gastronomic recipes, political causes, women’s communes, spirituality, the AIDS crisis, Oklahoma and Twin Tower terrorist attacks. A compelling writer, Mirriam-Goldberg’s Miriam’s Well captures a quintessential American story, its multitude of nations, of immigrants and indigenes, in the quest towards a meaningful national identity.”
~ Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, Professor of Theatre, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Kansas
“Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg brings back the charged days of the 1970’s revolutions and their aftermath in the decades to come in her novel Miriam’s Well. For those of us who lived through those times, the book is a reminder of their importance.”
~ Thomas Pecore Weso, author of Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2013-09 Kansas Poet Laureate & author of over two dozen books, including Everyday Magic: Field Notes on the Mundane and Miraculous (Meadowlark Press); Following the Curve, a collection of poetry (Spartan Press); and the award-winning Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image (Ice Cube Press) with weather chaser Stephen Locke. She curates 150KansasPoems.wordpress.com, out of which three anthologies have been published, including Kansas Time + Place (Little Balkans Press), co-edited with Roy Beckemeyer. She’s co-editor of Konza: A Bioregional Journal on Living in Place. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches. She leads writing workshops with singer Kelley Hunt. Caryn lives just south of Lawrence, Kansas, with her family, grateful to wake and dream overlooking native prairie and emerging woodlands.