About the Book
Esther Gottesfeld is the last living survivor of the notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire and has told her story countless times in the span of her lifetime. Even so, her death at the age of 106 leaves unanswered many questions about what happened that fateful day. How did she manage to survive the fire when at least
146 workers, most of them women, her sister and fiancé among them, burned or jumped to their deaths from the sweatshop inferno? Are the discrepancies in her various accounts over the years just ordinary human fallacy, or is there a hidden story in Esther’s recollections of that terrible day?
Esther’s granddaughter Rebecca Gottesfeld, with her partner George Botkin, an ingenious composer, seek to unravel the facts of the matter while Ruth Zion, a zealous feminist historian of the fire, bores in on
them with her own mole-like agenda. A brilliant, haunting novel about one of the most terrible tragedies in early twentieth-century America, Triangle
forces us to consider how we tell our stories, how we hear them, and how history is forged from unverifiable truths.
2007 JOHN GARDNER FICTION BOOK AWARD Finalist
TRIANGLE WAS ON THE LONG LIST for the 2008 IMPAC DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
TRIANGLE WON THE 2007 CONNECTICUT BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
TRIANGLE WAS A FINALIST FOR THE 2007 PATERSON FICTION PRIZE.
A Fire, a Curiosity, a Heritage, a Novel and, Now, a Prize.
The New York Times on Triangle’s Connecticut Book Award.
Invented Truths, an LA Times :
“KATHARINE WEBER’S fourth novel, “Triangle,” fits comfortably within the trajectory of an intriguing literary career. From her debut, “Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear,” through her metafictional riff on Louisa May Alcott in “The Little Women,” Weber has warned us that reality is not always what it seems and that narrators are not necessarily to be trusted.” —Wendy Smith
“Katharine Weber’s Triangle is a marvel of ingenuity, bridging history and imagination, astonishing musical inventiveness and genuine social tragedy. It is a wide-awake novel as powerful as it is persuasive, probing and capturing human verities.” —Cynthia Ozick
“Katharine Weber has always been a brilliant and ingenious formalist; at last she has found a subject deep and durable enough to bear the jeweled precision of her gaze. Here one of our most irresistible writers meets one of the most immovable events of our history.
Triangle is an incandescent novel.” —Madison Smartt Bell
“Triangle is a finely written contemplation of love, memory, terror, music and DNA. Precise and clear-eyed, the novel examines the power of recollection in surviving overwhelming tragedy with both pathos and humanity.” —Barbara Chase-Riboud, author of Hottentot Venus
“Blending music and memory together in arresting arrangement, Triangleis a unique and poignant tale of the varieties of love and loss.”
—Rebecca Goldstein, author of Mazel and The Mind-Body Problem
‘Slippery as an unreliable witness, Triangle maps the gap between memory and history. Out of the most unlikely materials, Katharine Weber has fashioned a generational mystery that plays as both academic farce
and real-life tragedy.’ —Stewart O’Nan