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Letty's Books

SHANDA: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy (Post Hill Press) published September 13 2022

The word "shanda" in Yiddish means shame or disgrace. This book, SHANDA: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy is the story of three generations of complicated, intense 20th-century Jews for whom the desire to fit in and the fear of public humiliation either drove their aspirations or crushed their spirit.

        My deeply personal memoir, exposes the fiercely-guarded lies and intricate cover-ups woven by dozens of members of my extended family, beginning with a confession of my own long-suppressed secret. The story then spirals through the hidden lives of my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins—revealing the truth about their origins, personal traumas, marital misery, abandoned children, religious transgressions, sexual identity, radical politics, and supposedly embarrassing illnesses. While unmasking their charades and disguises, I also showcase my family's remarkable talent for reinvention. Wherever ethnic group spawned you, and whatever your religious identity, I think you'll find much my story, by turns, touching, searing, and surprisingly universal.



Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate

Letty Cottin Pogrebin's second novel follows Zach Levy, the left-leaning son of Holocaust survivors who makes a deathbed promise to his mother that he'll marry a Jew and have Jewish children. But when Zach falls for Cleo, an African American activist grappling with her own inherited trauma, he must reconcile his obligation to his parents and tradition with his love for the woman who may be his soul mate. A New York love story complicated by the legacies and tensions of Jewish American and African American relations, the novel explores what happens when the heart smacks up against family loyalty, history, and memory.

Three Daughters

An ebullient, deeply engaging novel about the enduring ripple effect of family secrets and the triumph of sisterly love. Driven by a legacy of lies, the shame of their own imperfections, and impending chaos in each of their well-ordered married lives, the three Wasserman daughters struggle with themselves and one another to break their parents' silence and understand their past.

How To Be A Friend To A Friend Who's Sick

Everyone knows someone who is sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope. We may freeze or panic in the face of another person's misery, botch gestures meant to ease, attempt to problem-solve when we have no idea what we're talking about, say the wrong thing, or talk too much. Some of us don't visit our sick friends at all. Others visit, overstay, and make things worse.

During her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became intrigued by her friends' and family's diverse reactions to her and her diagnosis: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how they misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as well as dozens of other veterans of serious illness and chronic conditions, seeking to discover what they wished their friends knew about how to comfort, help, and even just talk to them without making them feel different or doomed.

Now Pogrebin has distilled their collective stories, insights, opinions, and ideas into this wide-ranging compendium of concrete guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice--infused with sensitivity, warmth, and (believe it or not) humor--is interwoven with boldly candid stories from her own journey through the land of the sick and her sometimes imperfect interactions with her own sick friends.

Getting Over Getting Older

In this insightful and wonderfully personal book, a bestselling author writes with unflinching honesty and uncommon cheer about the feelings that accompany the universal experience of growing older.

Deborah, Golda, and Me.

The struggle to integrate a feminist head with a Jewish heart can lead to a greater appreciation of both identities and the rewards of a passionate, well-examined life. Deborah, Golda, and Me is about Letty Pogrebin's journey; it's about her alienation from Judaism, her subsequent embrace of feminism, and her struggle to reconcile these two identities.

Among Friends

Deftly weaving fresh insights, eye-opening facts, and heart-warming anecdotes, Pogrebin draws on nearly 150 interviews and a vast body of research to analyze whom we choose as friends, how we form and deepen relationships, what are the most common flash points of friendship and why some unions crack under the smallest pressure while others last a lifetime.

Family Politics: Love and Power on an Intimate Frontier

Family Politics is a penetrating inquiry into the nature of the family and its place in today's society. Letty Cottin Pogrebin takes a critical look at the traditional family of the past and compares it to the diverse families of today. She identifies the strengths and weaknesses of various kinds of families, showing how changing gender roles and new ideas about child care, human behavior and women's rights have altered both the dynamics and realities of family life.

Growing Up Free

Growing Up Free provides a new blueprint for raising children in today's world of challenge and change. Pogrebin shows how to nourish the unique person in every child. She explodes the myths, cliches, and stereotypes of femininity and masculinity and shows traditional childrearing methods can actually be harmful to children. Her new guidelines point the way to role-free family life and prove that nonsexist parenting can be physically and emotionally good for your child.

Getting Yours: How to Make the System Work For the Working Woman

More than half of all American women work outside of the home. Chances are you're one of them--or you're ready to job-hunt for economic or personal reasons. Getting Yours is a down-to-earth, informative, and compassionate guide to the working world, a world that can serve your needs as well as you have always served the needs of others--if you know how to make it happen.

How To Make It In A Man's World

A classic of the Mad Men era, this bedside baedeker offers advice for working women struggling to balance career and family, plus entertaining anecdotes from Pogrebin's thirteen year career as an executive in the mostly-male book publishing industry. In short, it tells women how to succeed in business without really typing.

Free to Be You and Me

[Consulting Editor] The classic, award-winning, bestselling collection of nonsexist stories, songs, and skits that has captivated and influenced three generations of children. Created by Marlo Thomas, with introductions by her, Gloria Steinem, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the book features works by, among others, Shel Silverstein, Judy Blume, Sheldon Harnick, Mary Rodgers, Herb Gardner, Lucille Clifton, and Judith Viorst, with an afterword by Kurt Vonnegut.

Stories For Free Children

[Editor] Written for parents and children to enjoy together. A child-cheering parent-pleasing book, Stories for Free Children reaffirms the joyful spirit of girls and boys who are free to be themselves and be true to themselves.

Free to Be...A Family

[Consulting Editor] This follow-up volume to Free To Be, You and Me is a paean to the diverse ways people form families, support one another, and honor difference. Stories, songs, poems, and pictures that help ease the path for children and grown-ups to discuss sensitive issues such as divorce, disability, adoption, and nontraditional lifestyles.