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Breaking and Entering
A Novel
Eileen Pollack

Four Way
2012 • 384 pp. 6 x 9"
Fiction & Literature

$18.95 Paperback, 978-1-935536-12-3

“Eileen Pollack’s new novel, “Breaking and Entering,” takes place in rural Michigan in 1995 — the epicenter and high point of the militia movement, before increased scrutiny and revulsion at the... [continued in Reviews below]”—Jean Thompson, The New York Times Book Review

“America is a lot more countries than she thought it was. And even within those countries, there are other, smaller countries…”

Set against the tragic events of the Oklahoma City bombings, Breaking and Entering follows Christian/Jewish couple Louise and Richard Shapiro as they move from California to rural Michigan with their daughter Molly in an attempt to save their marriage. They find their core beliefs about life and love tested as school counselor Louise’s students blame Satan for their homosexuality while Richard’s new buddies gather arms to defend themselves against enemies at home and abroad. Pollack’s America is divided and splintered, yet she writes with hope and humor…Breaking and Entering challenges the stereotypes we hold about our fellow Americans, reminding us of the unexpected bonds that can form across the divide between so-called Red and Blue states.

Reviews / Endorsements

Eileen Pollack’s new novel, “Breaking and Entering,” takes place in rural Michigan in 1995 — the epicenter and high point of the militia movement, before increased scrutiny and revulsion at the Oklahoma City bombing put some militia groups out of business and sent others underground. (Though not a militiaman, the bomber Timothy McVeigh attended their meetings and spent time on a Michigan farm with his fellow conspirator Terry Nichols.) The Oklahoma City attack comes about a third of the way through Pollack’s book, a real-world event that informs and shadows the fictional ones. ...Quite a lot of bad things happen in “Breaking and Entering.” Pollack is an engaging writer with a first-rate eye for the telling sociological detail.... Since the author’s intent is to explore intolerance, hatred and evil, it is not enough that these forces merely simmer and self-perpetuate. The stakes are raised, and escalating consequences play out. ...—Jean Thompson, The New York Times Book Review

A compassionate, humorous new novel about the ambiguities of modern life.
After his patient commits suicide, a shattered Richard Shapiro and his wife, Louise, both therapists, move from upscale, liberal Marin County, California, to a rural Michigan village in 1995. But so much for the great escape: Louise takes up with a magnetic married minister, and Richard befriends members of the local militia, which has ties to the Oklahoma City bomber. Set against the backdrop of a divided America, Breaking and Entering by Eileen Pollack is a novel laced with compassion, humor and wisdom about the ambiguities of modern life. —Lynn Schnurnberger,
More Magazine

Louise Shapiro is thoroughly beset in this thorny, lucid novel. Her bad luck begins in California, where her husband abandons his psychology practice and takes a job in a rural Michigan prison. Louise struggles to adjust to the heartland, which seems overpopulated with religious nuts and militia members. Her husband drifts away into a rebellious, gun-toting fugue, and the lover she takes becomes remote in his own way. ... Her increasingly nuanced view of the sociopolitical divide is reflected in Pollack’s sensitive portrayals of both liberal Louise and her ilk, and their conservative counterparts. Weaving the personal
with the political, Pollack... creates an encompassing haze of dissatisfaction and misdirected passion. Despite the unrelenting misfortune, though, the tone is more solemn than dark; there’s a beautiful contemplativeness, and a believable sense of redemption in the end. —
Publisher’s Weekly

An exploration of Tolstoy’s dictum about unhappy families....A rich and satisfying novel that explores in a significant way contemporary issues of family, religion and politics.—Kirkus Review

“…a very real accomplishment—an admirable, serious, and important novel of ideas that does not neglect characters.”—Antonya Nelson

Award-winning novelist EILEEN POLLACK is the Zell Director of the University of Michigan’s MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:07:28 -0500