Miriam Gershow
HomeBioThe Local NewsStoriesReading GroupsEventsNews/ ReviewsContact

The Local NewsNews:

January 2012: The Ferndale Public Libary selects The Local News for Ferndale Reads, a community-wide reading event and book club in March 2012. See Events for details of Miriam's Ferndale Library reading.

August 2010: The Australian edition of the The Local News is released!

June 2010: Book Divas has launched Ask a New Author, a writing and publishing advice column featuring sage words of wisdom from Miriam, Susanna Daniel, and Randy Susan Meyers!

Read the new article about Miriam and The Local News in the Grand Rapids Press.

Read Miriam's take on the importance of book bloggers.

See Miriam's Side Dish essay on Book End Babes about the community behind the writer.

Read Miriam's essay about Keeping the Faith during the writing process in Book Divas' Tips From the Industry.

Read Miriam's guest post on Randy Susan Meyers' blog, Word Love

April 2010: Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Pages and Pages Booksellers, Penguin Australia acquired the Australian rights to the book. Stay tuned for details on the Australian edition!

February 2010: Read Miriam's Original Author Essay on the Powell's blog.

January 2010: The Local News has been chosen as a Breakout Book by Target! Look for it on store shelves starting February 14.

September 2009: The Local News is a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards.

June 2009: The Italian edition of The Local News has been published :

Italian book cover


Listen to Miriam's KBOO (Portland OR) radio interview.

Read a profile of Miriam in the Eugene Register-Guard.

Read a profile of Miriam in the Detroit Jewish News.

Read Miriam's first person essay about The Local News on the Spiegel & Grau website.

Read an interview with Miriam on Paper Fort.

See Miriam put her book to the Page 69 Test.



Bright, precocious but socially awkward Lydia Pasternak reports on the aftermath of her older brother’s disappearance in Gershow’s accomplished debut…Lydia’s perspective gives this Lovely Bones–esque story line an unflinching quality as she details the emotional damage that reverberates even through her 10-year high school reunion. Gershow’s psychologically acute grasp of the mundane, ugly details that accompany tragedy, combined with an understanding of the tragicomedy of high school, make for a stark and merciless narrative, leavened by Lydia’s wry insights.

-Publisher’s Weekly

The drama that fuels The Local News comes from Lydia’s inability to grasp how upset and frightened she is... Most of The Local News nominally takes place during Lydia’s high school years. But this story is full of insightful, implicit hindsight as it illustrates how the trauma involving Danny will shape Lydia’s adulthood and forever stunt her ability to get along with others... unusually credible and precise... deftly heartbreaking.

-Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Gershow... draws on fabulous similes to build moments: "The day after that news broadcast (about the narrator's missing brother), school was particularly frenzied, the new friends buzzing around like mosquitoes who'd been swarming too long in a fleshless jungle." In another instance, the author offers of the narrator, "I looked like a sickly bird on the news, pale, my chin coming to a weird point as if the bones had been broken and reset."...The real mystery to The Local News isn't so much a question of who the guilty party is. Something bad has happened to the narrator's brother, and while Lydia tries to sort it out, the question at the heart of this novel emerges as a larger one: How can this singular character build a life amid a sea of enthusiastic, seemingly mindless adolescents and drifting, emotionally distant parents? How can she connect with deeply flawed and treacherous humanity?

-Monica Drake, The Oregonian

Beneath this darkly humorous tale of loss is a keen look at the painfully stratified world of high school, and a reminder that just because we're supposed to feel sad doesn't mean we always do.

-Marie Claire

In her first novel, writer Miriam Gershow powerfully explores themes of love, longing, family, friendship and loss... Lydia reflects on the days surrounding her brother's disappearance with a mix of blunt honesty and dry humor. As a writer, Gershow succeeds in creating a likeable character struggling with big-time family issues.


riveting...gripping debut...

-Ladies Home Journal

Gershow keeps her approach fresh thanks to Lydia’s disarmingly unsentimental narrative voice, which allows Danny to be more than a saintly victim.

-Kirkus Reviews

[A] sad, bravely written story that...demonstrates that not all tragedies have heroes. Heartily recommended.

-Library Journal

[B]oth adult and teen characters are fully realized and credible: Lydia and her geeky friend, David; her new friend, Lola; the private eye; and even the off-camera Danny are each deeply flawed, as Lydia recognizes herself to be, but sympathetic. Gershow's writing is fluid, her imagery of the mid-'90s concise and compelling, and her story universal.

-School Library Journal

A graceful debut...The Local News is told as a memory, the experiences of teenage Lydia filtered through the distance of her adult self, who only makes an appearance at the book’s close. But both the younger and the older Lydia are uncommonly astute observers...The Local News takes a horrible incident and pares it down to one girl’s experience, never backing away from the inward focus of the left-behind child, the grief of the parents, the uncertainty of high school’s social layers. For Lydia, everything is about Danny, and nothing is about Danny. His disapperance is the magnifying glass through which she examines this defining moment in her life — a precisely described, lonely coming of age that reshapes her every relationship, from those with her parents to that with her one friend, the awkward, geeky David Nelson. When the grown-up Lydia looks back from her 10-year high school reunion, nothing snaps into unrealistic clarity, but the big picture, the indelible mark on the girl who didn’t vanish, is visible all the same. "

-Eugene Weekly

You can't just write a novel about the family of a missing teenager anymore; [it's a] genre with thousands of clichés. It's a landscape fraught with peril, and a lazy or stupid writer could easily destroy a story by charging blindly forward. Miriam Gershow's The Local News, about a teenager named Lydia Pasternak whose brother Danny disappears, manages to avoid all these clichés and make it look easy.

-Portland Mercury

[H]ighly satisfying. Gershow has written a an impressive debut novel, giving a voice to Lydia and a tour of how tragedy reverberates through a family and [how] the unwanted celebrity that follows only exasperates it.

-Sacramento Book Review

The Local News is sharp and tender, bitter and sweet. It is, in short, what the news reports rarely give us--the human story, the one that resides deep in the heart, in this case, of Lydia Pasternak, a young girl struggling to define herself in the days and years following her brother's disappearance. Her journey kept me captivated to the end.

- Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever and River of Heaven

Miriam Gershow has a fresh, funny and very engaging voice and a powerful story to tell, and Lydia Pasternak is a character you'll miss long after the book is finished. I was charmed from the first page and undone by the last.

- Beth Gutcheon, author of Good-Bye and Amen and Leeway Cottage

The Local News achieves two nearly impossible things: It's a funny book about harrowing circumstances, and it's a poignant book about high school. Gershow's narrator, Lydia Pasternak, is droll, keen, and utterly engaging. I couldn't put this novel down.

- Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and Four Seasons in Rome

The Local News is the story of a life created around loss. Gershow's book is deeply sympathetic, often painful, and always utterly believable. Not a book you're likely to put down once started, nor to forget once finished, a remarkable achievement.

- Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Wit's End


Blog Reviews (Click on blog name for review):

Everyday I Write the Book
Book Club Classics
Books on the Brain
Boston Bibliophile
a lovely shore breeze...
Caribou's Mom
Stitch and Bear
Peeking Between the Pages
Red Lady's Reading Room
Constance Reader
Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Linus's Blanket
The 3 R's Blog
books i done read