Hilma Wolitzer

Cindy Seip

Hilma Wolitzer is the author of nine novels; four young adult novels, and the nonfiction The Company of Writers: Fiction Workshops and Thoughts on the Writing Life. Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories (Bloomsbury Publishing) is a collection of short stories, most of them originally published in magazines, including Esquire and The Saturday Evening Post, in the 1960s and ‘70s. But the last story, written just before the book went into production, brings them all dramatically into the present. Wolitzer and her husband of 68 years were both hospitalized with COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. She recovered; Morton Wolitzer did not. It was one of Wolitzer’s daughters, Meg, also a writer, who had the idea of the collection. In several linked stories throughout, the relationship between the narrator and her husband unfolds in telling and often hilarious vignettes. The stories are of their time and yet timeless, zeroing in on the domestic sphere with wit, candor, and grace. Publishers Weekly celebrated it as a “sage collection of stories … Throughout, Wolitzer captures the feel of each moment with characters who charm with their honesty. The result is a set of engaging time capsules.”