Fiction. Jewish Studies. Women's Studies. A JOY TO BE HIDDEN is set in a vividly recreated late-90s New York City. The protagonist is Alice Stein, a graduate student whose father died a year before, and who has now lost her grandmother. In the process of sorting through the grandmother's belongings, Alice unlocks a family secret. In addition to its wisdom and rich humour, the novel is full of memorable characters. We can never quite forget the title quote—"It is a joy to be hidden, and a disaster not to be found" (D. W. Winnicott)—and we discover, over the course of the novel, that it applies to all its characters.
Ariela Freedman was born in Brooklyn and has lived in Jerusalem, New York, Calgary, London, and Montreal. She has a Ph.D. from New York University and teaches literature at Concordia's Liberal Arts College in Montreal, where she lives with her family. Her debut, Arabic for Beginners (LLP, 2017), was shortlisted for the QWF Concordia University First Book Prize and won the 2018 J. I. Segal Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, A Joy to be Hidden (LLP, 2019), was shortlisted for the Segal Prize in 2020, and was a finalist for the The Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.