Married to an attorney; children: three. Education: Graduated from Brandeis University; attended Hebrew University, Jerusalem.Religion: Jewish.
Home—Tuckahoe, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., 225 Duncan Mill Rd., Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3K9, Canada.
National Jewish Book Award for fiction, 1979, for Leah's Journey; Federation Arts and Letters Award, for Four Days.
"WHAT CAN SHE BE?" SERIES; WITH ESTHER GOLDREICH; PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT IPCAR, EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE NOTED
What Can She Be? A Veterinarian, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1972.
What Can She Be? A Lawyer, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1973.
What Can She Be? A Newscaster,Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1973.
What Can She Be? An Architect, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1974.
What Can She Be? A Musician, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1975.
What Can She Be? A Police Officer, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1975.
What Can She Be? A Geologist, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1976.
What Can She Be? A Farmer, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1976.
What Can She Be? A Film Producer, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1977.
What Can She Be? A Legislator, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1978.
What Can She Be? A Computer Scientist, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1979.
What Can She Be? A Scientist,photographs by Sheldon Horowitz, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1981.
Season of Discovery, T. Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1976.
Leah's Journey, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (New York, NY), 1978.
Lori, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1979.
Four Days, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (New York, NY), 1980.
This Promised Land, Berkley (New York, NY), 1982.
This Burning Harvest, Berkley (New York, NY), 1983.
Leah's Children, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.
West to Eden, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.
Mothers, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1989.
Years of Dreams, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1992.
That Year of Our War, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
Walking Home, MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
Dinner with Anna Karenina, MIRA (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
(Editor) A Treasury of Jewish Literature from Biblical Times to Today, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1982.
(Reteller) Ten Traditional Jewish Children's Stories, illustrated by Jeffrey Allon, Pitspopany Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Contributor of short fiction and critical essays to periodicals, including Seventeen, Commentary, Mc-Call's, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Mademoiselle, Ms., Chatelaine, andHadassah magazine.
Gloria Goldreich is a prolific author of both nonfiction books and novels. Goldreich began her writing career in 1972 with the children's book What Can She Be? A Veterinarian. This book was the first in her long-running "What Can She Be?" series, which she wrote with Esther Goldreich. The series introduces young girls to a variety of professions beyond more common career choices such as teacher, nurse, or secretary. Other titles in the series include What Can She Be? An Architect, What Can She Be? A Police Officer, and What Can She Be? A Computer Scientist.
Goldreich is also the author of several novels centered around Jewish themes, including Leah's Journey, Four Days, and West to Eden. In 1989 she published Mothers. In the story, character David Roth feels a strong desire to father his own child in order to carry on his Jewish ancestry. His wife, Nina, is unable to conceive, so the couple pays a woman named Stacey Cosgrove to carry their child. Unfortunately, when Stacey's own daughter dies, she finds herself unable to give up the unborn baby. Mothers elicited mixed reviews. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Goldreich's "characters are too schematized and her plot devices too implausible to be either affecting or insightful." ALibrary Journal contributor felt differently, pointing out that the author "evokes strong emotions" while calling the book "satisfying."
Goldreich followed Mothers withYears of Dreams. In the novel, four women meet in New York City on the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. The novel follows their friendship over the next twenty years as they individually pursue careers in music, medicine, art, and psychology, despite occasional disapproval from their husbands. Critics had mixed reactions to the novel. A Kirkus Reviews contributor remarked that the book contains "vacant, if nobly emoting, characters squashy with sentiment," calling the novel "high-minded corn, buttery smooth." On the other hand, a Publishers Weekly reviewer observed, "complex and fully realized, the women open windows on the major issues of the 1960s and [1970s,]" concluding that the novel is "intense and passionate."
Goldreich's next novel, That Year of Our War, tells the story of fifteen-year-old Sharon Grossberg, whose mother dies on D-Day in 1944, when the Western Allies invaded Normandy, France, in order to liberate Europe from the Nazis during World War II. Because her father is a doctor serving with the United States Army in Europe, Sharon must live with other relatives in her large Jewish family. During this time, Sharon witnesses birth, death, and marriage, and her family's fears are realized when they learn of the Nazi concentration camps. Many reviewers praised the work. Mary Ellen Quinn, writing inBooklist, stated, "This is a readable book with a smart, observant heroine and a vivid sense of time and place," while aLibrary Journal critic called the story "well crafted." A Publishers Weekly contributor agreed, calling the novel "deeply moving," and claiming that "Goldreich again brings a sense of immediacy to the Jewish experience."
In 2006 Goldreich published Dinner with Anna Karenina. In the novel, six well-educated New York women form a book club, meeting each month to discuss literature. However, when hostess Cynthia, who has a seemingly perfect life, decides to leave her husband with no apparent explanation, the other women are forced to examine their own lives. Dinner with Anna Karenina received mixed reviews. Anita Sama, writing in USA Today, felt that the book contained "overwriting," and further commented, "This chick lit with literary pretensions is a gussied-up soap opera." A Kirkus Reviews critic agreed, stating that the novel is "dreary, plodding and slightly pretentious—women's fiction of the most uninspired, uninspiring kind." However, Patty Engelmann, writing inBooklist, felt that Goldreich captured women's modern-day struggles with "honesty, sympathy, and skill." APublishers Weekly contributor agreed, calling the novel a "delightful tribute to friendship."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 1994, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of That Year of Our War, p. 1514; January 1, 2005, Beth Leistensnider, review of Walking Home, p. 814; January 1, 2006, Patty Engelmann, review of Dinner with Anna Karenina, p. 55.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1992, review of Years of Dreams, p. 131; December 15, 2005, review of Dinner with Anna Karenina, p. 1291.
Library Journal, September 1, 1989, review of Mothers, p. 216; March 15, 1994, review of That Year of Our War, p. 101.
Publishers Weekly, July 17, 1987, review of West to Eden,p. 50; September 15, 1989, review of Mothers, p. 108; February 3, 1992, review of Years of Dreams, p. 62; February 28, 1994, review of That Year of Our War, p. 71; November 28, 2005, review ofDinner with Anna Karenina, p. 24.
USA Today, January 26, 2006, Anita Sama, "Dinner Is Way Overdone," review of Dinner with Anna Karenina, p. 4D.
Fresh Fiction,http://www.freshfiction.com/ (June 22, 2006), author biography.
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Web site,www.jewishdayton.org (June 22, 2006), "Novelist's Latest Works Focus on Life Changes."