Allegra Goodman

b. 1967

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—a National Book Award finalist—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. Goodman’s second novel, Intuition, was released in 2006 and was nominated for the Wellcome Book Prize in 2009. In 2017 Goodman published another novel, The Chalk Artist, and in 2023, she released her most recent book, Sam


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Allegra Goodman." (Viewed on April 23, 2024) <>.