Book launch announced for Adina Talve-Goodman’s memoir


Central Reform Congregation is teaming up with Left Bank Books for a special event to mark the release of a memoir written by Adina Talve-Goodman the daughter of Rabbis Susan Talve and Jim Goodman.

Talve-Goodman was born with a congenital heart condition and survived multiple operations during her childhood as well as a heart transplant at age 19. Her new heart served her well for 11 years, but tragically she died in 2018 at the age of 31 months after being diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.

At the time of her cancer diagnosis, she was attending an MFA program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and working on her own nonfiction. Following her death, I asked Rabbi Susan if she would share some of her daughter’s writing, which she did, including a piece that won Talve-Goodman Bellevue Literary Review’s Nonfiction Prize in 2015.

That essay, along with six others, comprise her incisive new book, “Your Hearts, Your Scars,” (Bellevue Literary Press, $17.99), which was assembled posthumously by her family and a former colleague at One Story, a New York literary magazine where Talve-Goodman had been managing editor. Though each essay stands on its own, they knit together an unflinching look at life before and after her transplant, taking us inside “the crawl spaces” as she calls them between sickness and health, living and dying, laughter and sorrow, grief and gratitude. 

“A Celebration of Adina Talve-Goodman” will take place at the Central Reform Congregation on March 2 at 7 p.m. and will feature music from Brothers Lazaroff and a performance by Ron Himes and St Louis Black Rep.