The memoir of a woman who leaves her faith and her marriage and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a newly mapless world

Tova Mirvis

Tova Mirvis is the author of the memoir The Book of Separation as well as three novels, Visible CityThe Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary, which was a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various newspapers including The New York Times Book ReviewThe Boston Globe Magazine, and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on National Public Radio. She lives in Newton, MA with her family.

In her novels, Tova Mirvis returns to the themes of characters living in Orthodox communities while struggling with their faith. Mirvis graduated from Columbia University in 1995 and immediately went on to earn an MFA from Columbia in 1998. In 1999, she published her first novel, The Ladies’ Auxiliary, about a widowed convert entering the Orthodox community in Mirvis’s native Memphis. She followed this success with The Outside World in 2004 and Visible City in 2014, and published numerous essays in The New York Times Review of Books, Poets and Writers, and other periodicals. In 2017 she published a memoir, The Book of Separation, in which she discussed her divorce, her decision to leave the Orthodox community, and the bittersweet realities of navigating a new life as a single mother.

An intimate tale of departure….[Tova Mirvis] movingly conveys the heartache that accompanies the abandonment of one way of life in search of another.
— NY Times Book Review, Editor's Choice
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Talks and Topics

  • The Book of Separation, Author Presentation

  • Visible City, Author Presentation

  • The Outside World, Author Presentation

  • The Ladies Auxiliary, Author Presentation

  • Writing memoir in an Age of Over-sharing

  • Telling Your Story: a conversation about memoir and owning your authentic story

  • How To Leave: navigating separations, fear, life changes and reinvention

  • Believers, Doubters and Dreamers: Writing about religion

  • A Jerusalem of the South: An Exploration of Southern Jewish Life

  • Writing and Motherhood

  • Crafting a Novel

THE BOOK OF SEPARATION is an elegant, beautiful, carefully drawn story of love, tradition, inner conflict, and loss. This extraordinary memoir resonated with me more than I can say.
— Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Devotion and Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • July 20, 2019: Jewish Book Fair - Great Barrington, MA

  • May 22, 2019: Central Queens Y - New York, NY

  • April 12, 2019: College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA

  • March 27, 2019: Naples Jewish Federation - Naples, FL

  • Feb 26, 2019: Dallas JCC - Dallas, TX

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