Lauren Foss Goodman - A story about the passed-along People, about how we are the same and how we are different, about how we become who we are and how we protect our most private places from the cold glare of all that we cannot control


Lauren Foss Goodman, A Heart Beating Hard, University of Michigan Press, 2014.

A Heart Beating Hard is about looking long and deep into the invisible life of a person we too often pass by. It is the story of Marjorie, who works in the Store and does her best to go on with the days; of Margie, growing up in Apartment #2 with the sounds of Ma and Gram and Him all around; and of Marge, who should never have been, who should have been helped. In A Heart Beating Hard, we see how Marjorie manages to go on with the days, how even in the bright lights and grabbing hands of the outside world, inside, Marjorie knows how to take care of her self and her secrets. It is a story about the passed-along People, about how we are the same and how we are different, about how we become who we are and how we protect our most private places from the cold glare of all that we cannot control.

“Never has a book transcribed a character’s thoughts the way Lauren Foss Goodman transcribes Marjorie. Goodman uses the all of every word she writes. She articulates the indescribable. Reading A Heart Beating Hard is a truly powerful and immersive experience. Rarely does language feel so damning, brilliant, and needed.”—Rachel B. Glaser


“Lauren Foss Goodman’s gifts of sympathy are deep and true.  She looks long and lovingly at people we shy away from, at the hidden sweetness and cruelty we rush about to miss. A Heart Beating Hard is a marvel—tender, harrowing, funny, and altogether its own intoxicating animal.”—Noy Holland

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