Reviews & Interviews

Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited
“…impressively timely and (given its subject nature) timeless. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited: New Echoes of My Father’s German Village” is an inherently fascinating and exceptionally informative blend of memoir and history.”
—Read more: Michael Dunford, Midwest Book Review, May 2021

Schwartz is again able to craft a narrative in a way that updates the idea of memoirs and how they can be used to educate readers. With her story and Sayer’s working so well together they create a more vivid and complex image of what she had previously presentedThis reworking shows such growth and powerful creative strengthYou should check out Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited as soon as you can.” —Read more: Katherine Kleffner, The Nerdy Girl Express

When History Is Personal

“An essay collection where memory meets history.”  —Read more: From the Bookshelf: Princeton Echo, April 2018

Mimi Schwartz’s first memories of creative writing are from her early childhood, when she wrote and performed birthday poems for her German/Jewish immigrant family in Forest Hills, New York. Successive efforts included scripts for summer camp ‘color wars,’ and having a story she wrote in fifth grade mimeographed and tacked onto the classroom bulletin board.” —Read more: Anne Levin, Town Topics 

In an early selection in her essay collection When History Is Personal (University of Nebraska Press, March 2018), Mimi Schwartz writes, ‘We all have different versions of ourselves, depending on the story.’ That line could well serve as the descriptor for Schwartz’s voice in this collection, which deftly juxtaposes recollections of her own life against the backdrop of a half century of political and social events.” —Read more: Hippocampus Magazine

“Expressive, intimate snapshots of one woman’s life set atop the backdrop of global history.” —Read more: Kirkus Reviews

“Perfect-pitch, impeccable observation, penetrating insight. . . . A fresh and vivid approach to many dominant themes long cherished by American writers—the dynamics of remembering and forgetting, the significance of place, the conflict of individuals and institutions, the inseparability of past and present.” —Robert Atwan, series editor of Best American Essays

“Each finely crafted chapter…reads like a short story. Published earlier this year by the University of Nebraska Press, the book offers a deep sense of place, whether that place is a chicken farm on Long Island, an historic home in Princeton, or the German village where the author’s father spent his boyhood before World War II.” —Read more: New Jersey Jewish News 

“In a world racked by conflict, Schwartz is a clear-eyed advocate of storytelling that connects things with their supposed opposites.…’Both sides’ is her mantra. And how to write about aging without self-pity? With humor, thank you, and also—as in tennis—’leaning toward the ball, however hard and fast it comes.'” —Alicia Ostriker, author of Waiting for the Light and Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets

“Schwartz writes in a bright, swift style, moving from her girlhood in Queens, N.Y.…to her early marriage (and near disastrous first Thanksgiving); to a battle with breast cancer and the passing of her beloved husband. It’s all here—a whole life…Schwartz’s work certainly could serve as inspiration for those keen to write memoirs of their own.” —Read more: The Gazette

“When History is Personal  provides a look into how…  your identity is crucial to shaping everything around you…Schwartz opens herself and her life up to be examined and used to compare to your own life in a way that will allow you to see how you have influenced your own history and the world around you.” —Read more: The NerdyGirlExpress

“[Schwartz’s] writing is vivid and compelling, but also something more, a re-substantiation of lives that mattered, a testament. Brava!” Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury

Good Neighbors, Bad Times
“When Schwartz’s (Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed) father was born in 1898, half of his native German Black Forest farming village of 1,200 was Jewish and religious. Many years later . . . to reclaim her father’s village for herself, the author recorded stories of Jews and Gentiles in New York City, Germany and Israel and discovers that her father’s villagers, while not overwhelmingly brave or altruistic, managed to perform small acts of kindness or defiance during the Nazi years. . . . Her writing is genial and lucid and her aim is to understand how decent people remember a dishonorable past…” —Read more:  Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating picture, atypical of so much written on the subject. . . It is a measure of her nuanced approach and refusal to settle for pat, simplistic answers that her book finds and genuinely values a rare point of light in that darkest of times without ever exaggerating its overall significance.” —Read more: The Washington Times

“Schwartz’s excellent presentation defies categorization. It has some elements of journalism, autobiography, history, reporting, feature writing, and literature… creatively combined to result in an eminently readable product that grips the reader’s attention.” —Morton I. Teicher, National Jewish Post & Opinion

“[A]n eloquent and affectionate account. . . . Schwartz’s tone is gentle, her prose brilliantly clear and her insights keen.” —Read more: Kirkus Reviews

“A Holocaust memoir that is as much about then, as it is about nowGood Neighbors, Bad Times will make you smile, but it will also make you think. I highly recommend it.” — Carol Rittner, R.S.M., author of The Courage to Care: Non-Jews Who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust

“A shrewd and insightful meditation on how our collective histories are discovered, constructed, revised, and debated—and how, finally, we learn to live with them.” —Michael Walzer,  author of Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations   

Thoughts From a Queen-Sized Bed
“A queen-size bed may sound roomy, but when it is shared by a couple married for 40 years, the fit can be tight. Such a bed becomes a place where thoughts—on love, negotiating a long partnership, motherhood, staying faithful—and memories flow powerfully.” —Read more: The New York Times

“Marriage and monogamy are merely the jumping-off point for Mimi Schwartz’s lyrical and evocative meditation on commitment—not only to family, but to memory itself.” —Mary Morris, author of Nothing to Declare and Wall to Wall

“A lovely, lissome collection of short essays on contemporary marriage, love, and fidelity, this volume beguiles with its elegance and grace.” —The Virginia Quarterly Review

“I laughed and sighed and loved reading Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed from start to finish…Do yourself a favor. Read this book.” —Hilda Raz, former editor of Prairie Schooner and author of What Becomes You

“A gentle moving celebration of the quotidian.” —Read more: Kirkus Reviews

Writing True
“I’d like to take my phone off the hook, plug in an automated ‘Out of Office’ email message, and then take this book with me to Monhegan for a one-month island writing retreat.” —Stephanie Paterson, Professor of English, Cal State University- Stanislaus

“Indispensable for anyone drawn to trying his or her hand at creative nonfiction…a great choice for classrooms, writing groups, and desktops of writers exploring the genre on their own.” —Lynn Powell, Oberlin College, Director of Writers-in-the-Schools Program

“In classes that used Writing True as the basis for their curricula, the evaluations were unusually high—in fact, the highest I have ever gotten for that or any other course I’ve taught.” —Ann Tabachnikov, FIT

Writing True is . . . obviously written by two practicing writers who also know more than a thing or two about teaching. Only practicing writers would have included the excellent chapter on ‘Finding Voice,’ the common sense advice in ‘Workshopping a Draft,’ the experienced approach to ‘The Craft of Revision’. . . . and the first-rate chapter, ‘The Role of Research.’” —Joe Mackall, Editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative


Book Talk — Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited 

“Through the Lens of Now” — Book Discussion in conversation with Rivka Weinstein

ASSAY interviews Mimi Schwartz

Q & A with Mimi Schwartz on When History Is Personal and on the genre of creative nonfiction —The Whole Megillah

“Author Interview: Mimi Schwartz, on the second edition of Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction” — Lisa Romeo Writes

Radio and TV appearances (selected)

A Touch of Gray
Chicago Up Close
Comcast Headliner News
Joan Hamburg Show
New Jersey Talking
NPR’s The Front Porch
NPR’s Satellite Sisters
Paul W. Smith Show
Pure Oxygen