Moskowitz paints a portrait of a professional, who thinks and talks like a teacher, and whose life is entangled in her school and students in ways she would never change.
Philip M. Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Education
Queens College and The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
The novel, READING THE SIGNS is a gripping mystery about betrayal and love, truth and lies, abuse and power, sound and silence. At the same time it is a meta-mystery about language in language, an enactment of what Virginia Woolf called the “Danger and difficulty of words.” How can we know and unknow something at the same time? When does the unsaid become as apparent as the said? Is it possible to hold knowledge off long enough for the words about it to change, or at least cool down? What are we to do when words push their way past our own determination not to speak them? Taking place in a small beach town on Long Island, New York, Sylvie Fried, an expert reading teacher ,comes up against challenges in her personal life and in the work she does in Rose Elementary School and her customary confidence is suddenly not there, yet finding solutions may be a matter of life and death.
Novelist, memoirist, essayist, teacher, Bette Ann Moskowitz’ love of language has led her to write in every genre, from songs and poetry to fiction and non-fiction prose. She believes in the unexpected in life, and writes in the interstices between funny and sad. She is a past recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Creative Non-Fiction. Also past recipient of the Queens College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, she pays attention in this novel to the difficult and sometimes strange world teachers inhabit.