Boris Fishman

News & Press


  • Savage Feast is the Featured Book in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
  • Savage Feast is a Winter 2019 Must-Read Nonfiction pick at Bookish.
  • “Central to Fishman’s insightful, absorbing memoir is hunger,” Kirkus Reviews says in a starred review. “The trauma of cultural loss, shared by many immigrants, was assuaged by his grandfather’s home health aide, whose recipes for potato latkes, stuffed cabbage, braised rabbit, liver pie, and scores more make the memoir a succulent treat… A graceful memoir recounting a family’s stories with candor and sensitivity.”
  • “This delightful, recipe-filled memoir from novelist Fishman follows his Jewish family—and their richly-described dinner tables—across three generations, from 1945 Belarus to 2017 Brooklyn,” Publishers Weekly says of Savage Feast. “Fishman’s immigrant saga masterfully evokes a family that survives, united by food…There’s a large web of characters and anecdotes, but Fishman grounds the narrative with his witty prose and well-translated family recipes.”

  • If you’re curious how the writing gets done, sometimes Glacier National Park and the bathroom paper-towel dispenser are involved. Boris introduces Electric Literature’s excerpt from Dina Nayeri’s “Refuge,” a novel as incisive as it is poignant about Iran, families genetic and inherited, immigration, and so much more.
  • A certain Boriss Fišmens is on Latvia’s version of NPR.
  • Rodeo, just out in paperback, is a “Paperback Row” selection in The New York Times Book Review.
  • The New York Times has just named Rodeo one of the 100 best books of 2016.
  • The Boston Globe asked me and several others to pick two books that explain Russia. At least a little.
  • Boris talks with Martha Frankel of Woodstock’s Booktalk Radio (Episode 129).
  • A rave for the newly-released paperback from Paperback Paris.
  • An interview with Adam Vitcavage of Writer’s Bone.
  • In advance of November 17th’s talk at the Kaplen JCC in Tenafly, a profile in The New Jersey Jewish Standard.
  • They don’t make them like this any more: A smart, perceptive, hour-long (!) conversation about Rodeo on WNHH (New Haven)’s Book Talk, hosted by the great Cyd Oppenheimer. First a discussion of the book with Boris, then a round-table with two other readers.
  • In October, 2016, Boris traveled to Estonia and Latvia on behalf of the U.S. State Department to discuss “A Replacement Life,” and the creative life (in America), with Russian-speaking minorities in the capitals and near the border with Russia. Some of the press highlights.
  • Just in time for Boris’ move there, Brooklyn has issued a warm welcome: Rodeo is on the longlist — now the shortlist! — for the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize!
  • A wonderfully in-depth and far-ranging interview with Mike Matesich of the Oxford Exchange in Tampa, where Boris is reading on Sunday, October 2. (See Readings.).
  • In advance of a reading at NYU, a great talk with Rachel A. G. Gilman of “The Write Stuff” on WNYU.
  • A lovely interview with Boris’ British editor. Foyles Bookstore in London was kind enough to reprint.
  • Who doesn’t like his novel being called stunning?
  • Rodeo is a Spring Reading Pick at the Times of Israel.
  • Rodeo is an Editors’ Choice selection in The New York Times Book Review.
  • Huge rave from Cathleen Schine in The New York Times Book Review, which calls Boris a “tender, dolorous, sharp and funny writer” and “a joy to read.”
  • The Christian Science Monitor with words of praise for “Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo.”
  • BookPage, which chose Rodeo as its Book of the Day, and called it a novel of “unexpected force” (see below), asked Boris to talk about what he’s reading. Here’s the best book he read last year.
  • An exceedingly intelligent and well-written profile of, and engagement with the ideas behind, Rodeo in the Forward by Talya Zax. Too rare such criticism these days.
  • Rodeo is one of 18 Dazzling Books for Spring on the Oprah web site.
  • A profile in the New Jersey Jewish News.
  • What’s the literary equivalent of a no-hitter? Rodeo is racking up raves on every stop of its March tour of book blogs.
  • Write-ups in English Kills Review and the New York Journal of Books.
  • Interviews!

    A return to WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show for another great, meaty conversation.

    The Cyrus Webb Show (Mississippi).

    In advance of the March 15 reading at the Free Library of Philadelphia with Howard Jacobson, The Avid Reader (Philadelphia).

    Another lovely talk with Deborah Kalb.

  • The Boston Jewish Advocate says: “This is a novel that will stay with you for a very long time and not just because of the plot. Fishman’s prose is gorgeous, the characters are well developed and the plot is totally amazing.”
  • A starred review in Shelf Awareness: “With graceful control and assurance, Fishman turns Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo into a layered story of identity and the challenges of weaving our many differences into compassionate bonds. So many things can drive a family apart; it’s a wonder that Alex, Maya and Max (or any of us) can hold it together. Immigration and adoption are not for wimps. Writing well about them is a true art. Fishman is very much up to the task–heartbreak, headaches, happiness and all.”
  • NPR with a rave for Rodeo!
  • While a novel without a thoughtful reviewer, positive or negative, is not quite like the falling tree in the woods without someone to hear it, criticism is an art, and an art that begs for more than plot summary. It’s so gratifying to come across that kind of engagement with your work. And then if it’s positive, too…

    San Francisco Chronicle: “[Fishman’s] second novel is a fresh, unpredictable departure from his first. Max may or may not do rodeo, but from now on expect Boris Fishman to do anything.”

    Chicago Tribune: “An eloquent and uncynical tale of how far people must travel to find out what they truly want and who they truly are.”

  • O, the Oprah Magazine gives Rodeo a thumbs-up in the March issue!
  • A profile of the novel in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
  • BookPage offers a perceptive review of a “perceptive” novel: “Fishman patiently uncovers the tensions embedded in the Rubins’ relationship that intensify Maya’s restlessness. Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo… is a ruminative story about the often fragile bonds of family. Even the most comfortable parents and children may someday confront a crisis as unsettling as the one that afflicts the Rubins, a truth that allows this novel to resonate with unexpected force.”
  • Rodeo is among the “Winter Reads Authors Are Loving” on BookSparks.
  • Publishers Weekly has a rave for Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo: “The novel, which seems at first like a road trip story, transforms into a sensitive and surprisingly adventurous exploration of one woman’s wonder and suffering.”
  • Kirkus Reviews doesn’t love everything about Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo, which makes the “plot twist that gives the closing chapters their gravitas… feel almost like a magic trick.” The verdict: “Fishman smartly observes that the assimilation novel and road-trip novel make good partners. Both, after all, are about finding freedom. A comic novel about parenting infused with emotional intelligence.”
  • Boris’ Holiday Reading recommendations in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
  • A conversation with Elizabeth Stark and Angie Powers of the Story Makers podcast, aka the Stark & Powers Drama Hour.
  • Off the Shelf selects A Replacement Life as one of its “15 Remarkable Stories to Celebrate Jewish Book Month.”
  • A lecture about plot for the University of Iowa’s Distance Learning Program.
  • Publishers Marketplace has chosen Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo as a 2015-16 Fall/Winter BuzzBook; free sample here.