Advance praise for TREYF

“In this richly textured narrative, Altman not only reveals how she learned to interweave the contradictory threads of her life into a complex whole. She also gives eloquent voice to the universal human desire to belong. A poignant and life-affirming family memoir.”

Kirkus Reviews

“What makes Treyf so original is the author’s wry humor and her gimlet eye. She is expert at evoking time, place and social status. . . . her prose shines. . .”

Wall Street Journal 

“This earthy, gorgeouslywritten, sensual, powerful book is so compulsivelyreadable you’ll want to read it in one great gulp, but you’ll also want to slow down and savor every delicious morsel. Elissa Altman has written a brave and generous memoir, a lucid love letter to her own family’s history that in its bracing clarity and largeheartedness does the work of great memoir in piercing the reader’s separateness, and reminding us that we are not alone. I love this book.”  

DANI SHAPIRO, Author of Inheritance

Treyf is a beautiful, brilliant memoir filled with striking images, unforgettable people, and vivid stories. Elissa Altman has given us the story of an era and a tribe, rooted in 1970s New York City, and wrought with such visceral love that the pages shimmer.”

KATE CHRISTENSEN, Author of Blue Plate Special

Treyf is a memoir that reads like a novel, a spellbinding portrait of a very specific world that also serves as a universal primer on identity, on loneliness, on the nature of familial bonds, on the ways we make sense of the mess of our lives. Gorgeous, singular, heartbreaking, haunting.”

JOANNA RAKOFF, Author of My Salinger Year

Intricately structured, exquisitely wrought, Treyf exposes the love and longing at the core of transgression. It is a tour de forcenimble, cinematic, restrained. The sacred and the profane are no binary in Altman’s world; they are two chambers of a single beating heart.”


“Savvy, warm hearted, and profoundly illuminating…The meaning of the forbiddenin a family, in a selfand the human needs we all struggle with are gloriously explored. This is a transforming book, one of the most satisfying memoirs I’ve ever read.”

BONNIE FRIEDMAN, Author of Surrendering Oz: A Life in Essays

The author turns a literary microscope on her growingup years and the people who influenced her for good and bad. Like eating popcorn (gourmet popcorn), this is hard to put down…. Altman’s conflicted feelings about her life, her parents, and, yes, food infuse this delicious memoir.”