A novel by Norah Labiner

September 1, 2003 • 6 x 9 • 400 Pages • 978-1-56689-136-3

Norah Labiner’s masterful follow-up to her groundbreaking Our Sometime Sister is an engrossing and innovative work conceived in classical style, popping with pop cultural panache, and exhibiting all the gifts and vision of its author, who was lauded by the Utne Reader as one of the “ten novelists who are changing the way we see the world.” Miniatures is an intensely evocative novel with haunting characters and beautiful, painterly prose that summon the ghosts of Mary Shelley, Marcel Proust, and the Brontë sisters.

Young, impetuous, and possessing a passionate, vulnerable intellect, American Fern Jacobi is traveling in Ireland when she finds work as a live-in housekeeper to famous and reclusive writers Owen and Brigid Lieb.

The eccentric and world-weary Owen has lived in the shadow of scandal and suspicion ever since his first wife, a beloved and iconic novelist, committed suicide in the grand, drafty house where Fern has come to work. Amidst the Liebs’s riddled and deceitful world, Fern forges an alliance with Brigid, Owen’s young and beautiful second wife. When the two share the discovery of a controversial bundle of hidden letters, Fern not only unearths answers to the first wife’s suicide, but also to her own past.

About the Author

Norah Labiner is the author of three previous novels: Our Sometime Sister, Miniatures, and German for Travelers. She has received a Minnesota Book Award for Literary Fiction, as well as fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been recognized by the American Library Association, the Jewish Book Council, and the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers series. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“A splendid, leisurely meditation on the meaning of fame, identity, and love.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review