A New York Times Editors' Choice novelist and Eastern Michigan University alum to discuss her book about a financial crisis in a Jewish family on Feb. 11

Bethany Ball’s book ‘What to Do About the Solomons’ humorously illustrates how false rumors about an LA Jewish family’s financial irregularities travel to their extended family in a small Israeli town.

YPSILANTI – A conversation with award-winning novelist Bethany Ball about her recent book, “What to Do About the Solomons,” will be held at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center on Monday, Feb 11 at 7 p.m. There will be a reception and book signing afterward. The event is free.

Bethany Ball headshot
Bethany Ball

Ball’s book, a debut novel, follows the gossipy aftershocks of a financial scandal in the lives of an American Jewish family. The book tells the story of Marc Solomon, who is falsely blamed for tax evasion. Marc, a former Israeli Navy commando, is now living in Los Angeles and doesn’t know that his wife, Carolyn, is dealing with financial difficulties that she keeps to herself. Trying to hold their family of five together, Carolyn makes miserable decisions that only gets them into more trouble. Quickly, rumors of the Solomons’ financial troubles make their way from LA to the rest of the Marc and Carolyn’s far-flung family on an Israeli kibbutz.

“I ended ‘What to Do About the Solomons’ absolutely swimming with affection …” said Alana Newhouse who is a writer for the New York Times. “Not just for the characters but for the multiple worlds that created them. Despite their collective penchant for psychodrama, there’s something profoundly lovely and loving about the Solomons. And about Bethany Ball’s debut.”

Bethany Ball was born in Detroit and completed her undergraduate degree at EMU. She also holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

The novel, published in 2017, was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was nominated for the Jewish Book Council’s Debut Novel award.

“Ms. Ball writes about the international Jewish experience with extraordinary confidence and wit,” said Marty Shichtman, event coordinator and director of Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Jewish Studies. “The EMU Center for Jewish Studies is delighted to welcome her back to her alma mater.”

To read the New York Times review visit the NYT website. For information on EMU’s Center for Jewish Studies, please see the center’s website.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences, and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information, visit the University's website.

January 29, 2019

Written by:
Michal Liberman

Geoff Larcom