Klagsbrun, Francine (Lifton)

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KLAGSBRUN, Francine (Lifton)

PERSONAL: Born in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Benjamin (a businessman) and Anna (Pike) Lifton; married Samuel C. Klagsbrun (a psychiatrist), January 23, 1955; children: Sarah Devora. Education: Brooklyn College (now the City University of New York), B.A. (magna cum laude), 1952; Jewish Theological Seminary of America, B.H.L., 1952; New York University, M.A., 1959.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—1010 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028. Agent—c/o Crown Publicity, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER: Author. Field Enterprises Educational Corp., Chicago, IL, assistant editor, 1957-59, subject editor, 1959-61, senior editor, 1961-64; Grolier, Inc., New York, NY, executive editor of Encyclopedia Americana, 1964-65; Cowles Book Co., New York, NY, executive editor, 1965-68; editorial director, U.E.C., Inc., 1969-73. Member of board of governors, Melton Research Foundation.

MEMBER: Authors League of America, Authors Guild, Jewish Publication Society of America, Phi Beta Kappa.

WRITINGS:

Sigmund Freud, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1967.

First Book of Spices, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1968.

The Story of Moses, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1968.

(Editor, with D. C. Whitney) Assassination: Robert F. Kennedy, Cowles (New York, NY), 1968.

Psychiatry—What It Is, What It Does: A Book for Young People, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1969.

(With husband, Samuel C. Klagsbrun) Your Health: Nutrition, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1969.

Read about the Teacher, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1970.

Read about the Librarian, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1970.

Read about the Parkman, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1971.

Read about the Sanitation Man, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1972.

Freedom Now! The Story of the Abolitionists, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1972.

(Editor) The First Ms. Reader, Warner Paperback (New York, NY), 1973.

(Editor, with others) Free to Be . . . You and Me, McGraw (New York, NY), 1974.

(Editor and compiler) Words of Women, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1975.

Too Young to Die: Youth and Suicide, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1976.

(Compiler) Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ideals and Ethics for Everyday Living, Pantheon Books, (New York, NY), 1980, D. R. Godine, (Boston, MA), 1990.

Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce, Bantam Books, (Toronto; New York, NY), 1985.

Mixed Feelings: Love, Hate, Rivalry, and Reconciliation among Brothers and Sisters, Bantam Books, (New York, NY), 1992.

Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture around the Year, illustrated by Mark Podwal, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, (New York, NY), 1996.

The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day, Harmony Books, (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to World Book Encyclopedia, 1964; contributor to Ms.

SIDELIGHTS: Francine Klagsbrun is known for her work on topics involving the Jewish faith, modern youth, sociology, and feminism. Klagsbrun began her career as a published author in 1967 and within a decade had written or contributed to fifteen highly diverse titles, including biographies of Sigmund Freud and Moses, informative pieces on nutrition, psychiatry, and suicide, and a series of young adult books designed to introduce children to career options.

Klagsbrun has received the most acknowledgement and acclaim for her more recent titles, including Mixed Feelings: Love, Hate, Rivalry, and Reconciliation among Brothers and Sisters, a study of sibling relationships inspired, she said, by her competitive relationship with her brother, Robert. For this book, Klagsbrun interviewed over one hundred families and interpreted what she learned about brothers and sisters and how they interact. Her conclusion: the bond between a child and his or her sibling is just as influential as between the child and his or her parents, and can have a marked impact on the child's life decisions far into adulthood. One Publishers Weekly reviewer called Mixed Feelings an "illuminating study of the complex sibling bond."

Klagsbrun's next two books were explorations into the mores of Judaism. Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture around the Year shares history of and insight into the religion's holidays, such as Yom Kippur and Passover, as well as other noteworthy dates from ancient times up to Israel Independence Day. Ilene Cooper from Booklist described it as "readable and stimulating." She went on to call it: "A useful and unique meditation on the nature of time."

The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day "presents a gentle introduction for anyone who, like Klagsbrun, desires a weekly mini-vacation from the 'infinite cacophony, competition and commotion of the world around us,'" said a Publishers Weekly reviewer. This "mini-vacation" is the Sabbath Day, which, Klagsbrun writes, is a sacred time during which people should "re-connect" with family, friends, and themselves. Klagsbrun backs up this both welcome and hard-to-accept revelation using references to her own life as well as the Bible, Talmud, Kabbalah, and thinkers from all eras in history. The Fourth Commandment is "an indispensable guide to a fuller comprehension of the Sabbath," wrote George Cohen in Booklist.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Best Sellers, February, 1977, review of Too Young to Die: Youth and Suicide, p. 375.

Booklist, May 1, 1980, review of Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ethics and Ideals for Everyday Living, p. 1236; May 15, 1985, review of Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce, p. 1283; October 15, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture around the Year, p. 381; September 15, 2002, George Cohen, review of The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day, p. 182.

Bookwatch, October, 1998, review of Jewish Days, p. 9.

Book World, August 4, 1985, review of Married People, p. 3.

Catholic Library World, March, 1977, review of Too Young to Die, p. 358.

Christian Century, August 28, 1985, review of Married People, p. 778.

Curriculum Review, February, 1979, review of Too Young to Die, p. 27.

Guardian Weekly, September 1, 1985, review of Married People, p. 18.

Horn Book, April, 1977, review of Too Young to Die, p. 183.

Journal of Marriage and the Family, November, 1993, review of Mixed Feelings: Love, Hate, Rivalry, and Reconciliation among Brothers and Sisters, p. 1055.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 1985, review of Married People, p. 523; July 1, 1992, review of Mixed Feelings, p. 829.

Kliatt Paperback Book Guide, winter, 1978, review of Youth and Suicide, p. 33; winter, 1982, review of Too Young to Die, p. 44; winter, 1985, review of Too Young to Die, p. 43.

Library Journal, March 1, 1980, review of Voices of Wisdom, p. 623; August, 1985, review of Married People, p. 102; September 15, 1996, review of Jewish Days, p. 73.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 22, 1985, review of Too Young to Die, p. 9.

New Age Journal, January, 1993, review of Mixed Feelings, p. 47.

New York Times Book Review, February 6, 1977, review of Too Young to Die, p. 10; November 3, 1985, review of Too Young to Die, p. 46; January 3, 1993, review of Mixed Feelings, p. 14.

People Weekly, October 14, 1985, Lee Powell, "Thirty years a wife and not embarrassed to say so, a feminist explains why good marriages last." pp. 75-79; September 28, 1992, Jane Sugden, "The ties that bind: effects of sibling rivalry on relationships." pp. 65-68.

Publishers Weekly, July 25, 1977, review of Too Young to Die, p. 70; May 31, 1985, review of Married People, p. 48; June 1, 1992, review of Mixed Feelings, pp. 43-45; September 30, 1996, review of Jewish Days, p. 76; August 12, 2002, review of The Fourth Commandment, p. 296.

School Library Journal, August, 1986, review of Too Young to Die, p. 114.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), September 21, 1986, review of Married People, p. 5.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1981, review of Too Young to Die, p. 58; April, 1985, review of Too Young to Die, p. 76.

ONLINE

Lilith, The Independent Jewish Women's Magazine Web site,http://www.lilithmag.com/ (January 15, 2003), review of Jewish Days.

Miami Herald Web site,http://www.miami.com/ (January 15, 2003), Linda Brockman, "Klagsbrun featured in 'People of the Book' weekend at the Miami book fair."

Spirituality & Health Web site,http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/ (May 28, 2004), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of Jewish Days.*