The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Allegra Goodman

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Allegra Goodman until we are able to commission a full entry.

Allegra Goodman centers her acclaimed novels and short stories on deep, nuanced depictions of Jewish characters and Jewish families grappling with the problems of the larger world. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied at Harvard before earning a PhD in English Literature from Stanford. She began publishing her short stories in journals such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Commentary, and her stories have been republished in the annual Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Awards anthologies. She published her first short story collection, Total Immersion, in 1989, followed by another collection, The Family Markowitz, in 1996 before publishing her first novel, Kaaterskill Falls, in 1998. Her fiction often depicts Jews incorporating their faith into their lives in the wider world, celebrating Passover Seders while struggling with problems at work, or negotiating the divide between an Orthodox enclave and the surrounding resort town. In 2017 Goodman published her most recent novel, The Chalk Artist.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Allegra Goodman." (Viewed on December 4, 2022) <>.


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