Tara Ison  

Tara Ison

"It's a sheer joy to stay in the company of Ison's voice." - Karen Russell

"Here is a young woman at the end of her leash, the end of her youth, the edge of her art, confronting the many true colors of her life in this beautiful and dangerous season. Tara Ison's Rockaway is a stirring, fresh look at a tough passage.” —Ron Carlson, Return to Oak Pines

"Tara Ison's novel Rockaway is an illuminating inquiry into the nature of love, the meaning of art, the power of faith and family, and how grace is discovered in the most unexpected places - a stunning, modern echo of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse, with a uniquely brilliant voice." - Emily RappThe Still Point of the Turning World


"Tara Ison is one of the premiere stylists of her generation, and Rockaway is pretty much perfect — a meditation on art, aloneness, ambition, love, religion, and the unknowable and unquenchable thirst that is human desire.  Just start reading.  You won't stop." - Charles Bock, Beautiful Children


“Written in language that is utterly liquid, Rockaway inhabits the poetry of a woman fiercely searching for identity. Here, we find an illuminating meditation on the art of being, with the true revelation suggesting that perhaps we were never lost at all. A triumphant reclamation of the soul.” —Ilie Ruby, The Salt God's Daughter


Rockaway is a novel that embraces everything: love, art, friendship, faith, and the mystery of why we create the lives we do, with prose that is breathtaking, clear, and elegant. Sarah and Marty and Emily are depicted with honesty that is utterly riveting. This is a beautiful gem of a book." —Karen E. Bender, A Town of Empty Rooms

"A tale of intoxicating love that turns toxic...  Readers who like their sunniness with a side of bitter will appreciate Ison's portrayal of love's power to bring out the worst in us." 

The Chicago Tribune

"The List is both wise and wicked about love: why it lasts or doesn't, and what's to be done about it.  Tara Ison limns her characters' choices with dark precision and wit." Meg Wolitzer, The Position and The Wife

"The List is visceral, honest, and intensely readable; Ison builds two complex, memorable characters, and then embraces their layers and contradictions, both alone and together." Aimee Bender, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Willful Creatures

"The List is one fast-paced, word-drunk, film-obsessed, side-splitting roller-coaster:  a screwball comedy, an anti-romance romance, the quintessential LA novel. Ison is some kind of genius." Brad Kessler, Birds in Fall

For anyone who has ever broken up with someone...a smart, sophisticated, and darkly comic novel about a dysfunctional couple who make a list of 10 things to do before they break up.

Isabel is finishing medical school and destined to become a brilliant heart surgeon. Al is a video store clerk, a one-hit-wonder director whose first and only film became a cult classic. They have a sisyphean relationship - endlessly coming together and breaking up until they decide to make a list of 10 things they want to do together before they really break up. But after a few perfect dates - clams on the Santa Monica Pier, sleeping under the stars on the roof of a Sunset Boulevard hotel - the list takes a dark turn, and their plan spirals out of control, until they realize they would rather destroy each other than let go....


Now available as an ebook on all formats!

"A fascinating and wonderfully evocative first novel about life on Alcatraz - seen through the eyes of a little girl growing up in the 1950s.  A compelling story, richly evoking a time and place." Kirkus Reviews

"Disturbing, dark, and original.  A stunning first novel." Feminist Bookstore News
"This is a sad, often beautiful novel...Ison renders the slow disintegration of a once-vital woman, and its effect on her daughter, with perfect heartbreaking despair...  A provocative story."  The Boston Book Review
"Ison has a gift...the fearsome plight of Olivia, who narrates much of the novel, is never simplified.  It's through her radiant consciousness that Ison's novel achieves a natural, basic morality."  Publisher's Weekly

"What makes A Child out of Alcatraz particularly memorable is its unique venue...the author paints a searing portrait of an American family that might have been typical had fate and history not intervened."
- Glamour

To Purchase an Inscribed Copy from the Author - email info@taraison.com




Tara Ison Bio Page
Tara Ison Novels
Tara Ison Short Fiction and Non Fiction

Tara Ison Events and Contact



Rockaway is featured in the July 2013

O, The Oprah Magazine's "Best Books of Summer," selected by Karen Russell!


 Rockaway coming June 2013 from Counterpoint/Soft Skull press 


A Child out of Alcatraz now available as an ebook on all formats!  From Foreverland Press


"Return to Alcatraz" - blog post on The Next Best Book Blog Indie Spotlight


Radio interview, The Indie Exchange BlogTalk Radio


"How Alcatraz Became an eBook" - blog post for Indie Books blog by Meg Waite Clayton


The Chicago Tribune on The List
Review of The List by Something Witty This Way Comes....
 Review of The List by Dawn Papuga at Lyrique Tragedy
 Interview with John Fox of BookFox
 Interview with PagesTurned
 Interview with Shaken & Stirred
 Review by Jen's Tonic
 Review by The Literary Word
Review by Leicester Review of Books
Review by Small Spiral Notebook




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