“Potent . . . The Waiting Room is both haunted, and haunting.”—Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and The Secret Chord
THE WAITING ROOM
The Tiger’s Wife meets A Constellation of Vital Phenomena in an intergenerational tale of internal and external warfare
Though THE WAITING ROOM (Harper Perennial; ISBN 9780062490476; $15.99; on sale date: November 15, 2016) unfolds over the course of one day, the narrative spans five decades, three continents, and unveils one family’s compelling history of war and survival. As a child of Holocaust survivors, Dina has inherited her parents’ haunted history, and it weighs heavily upon her when a terror alert is issued in her city. Over the following twenty-four hours, she will be pushed to breaking point as she struggles to cope with a reality increasingly defined by conflict and trauma that reaches a dramatic, life-changing climax.
Her parents’ memories of hunger, fear, and desperation are so entrenched in Dina’s past that they seep into her present, pushing her to pursue a career in medicine: if she can’t help them, she can at least help others. When her vacation to Israel transforms into a permanent life after she falls in love, these memories take on lives of their own. Israel’s culture of conflict, reminiscent of what her parents longed to escape, exacerbates her own fragility especially as the stress of living in a war zone begins to erode her marriage.
THE WAITING ROOM follows Dina from home to work, where she deals with patients under threat of an imminent attack. Despite their poignant and uplifting tales of resilience, she is fueled by her parents’ legacy of suffering and her volatile day-to-day existence. Dina’s anxiety about the future of her son and the baby she carries grows increasingly overwhelming. When violence erupts, will
fear consume her? Or will it drive her to confront her demons and finally live, and love, on her own terms?
Dina’s attempt to continue normal life under the shadow of a terror threat is a balancing act all of us endure in contemporary America. We are just as vulnerable as Dina: how can we maintain passion for our partners, jobs, and children with the prospect of horror looming over us? Her topical and resonant storyline transcends the pages of THE WAITING ROOM and enters our hearts and homes.
About the Author
Leah Kaminsky is the poetry and fiction editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. She conceived and edited Writer, M.D., an anthology of contemporary doctor-writers. She is the author of We’re All Going to Die, the award-winning poetry collection Stitching Things Together, and collaborated on the bestseller Cracking the Code.
THE WAITING ROOM
On Sale Date: November 15, 2016
Harper Perennial; $15.99; 320 pages; ISBN 9780062490476
*Additional Praise for THE WAITING ROOM*
“An assured debut . . . Compelling, moving and memorable.”—Graeme Simsion, author of
The Rosie Project
“Vivid, riveting, authentic with emotion and conflict.”—Jerome Groopman, senior writer for
The New Yorker
“The Waiting Room is a moving and riveting story of a woman perched between the shadow of the past and a fragile reality in her adopted homeland. In the tradition of the finest physician-novelists, Leah Kaminsky writes with precision, authenticity, and profound insight.”—Amy Gottlieb, author of The Beautiful Possible
“The personal, the political and the medical wrestle with history in this page-turning novel. An engrossing tale that is both acutely worldly and fiercely introspective.”—Danielle Ofri, MD, author of What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine
"Leah Kaminsky is a writer on whom nothing is lost. There are many lives, many worlds and many days in the single day she depicts in The Waiting Room. The novel is a masterful debut."—Joseph Skibell, author of A Curable Romantic
“She's [Kaminsky is] an evocative storyteller, and she's sensitive to the intersections between physical and emotional pain and the way that memory intrudes upon daily reality.”—Kirkus