Book Reviews

Frances Lefkowitz — To Have Not, a memoir

Frances Lefkowitz, author of To Have Not,  has written a memoir about her remarkable life: lifting herself up from the hard scrabble of a “have not” life in San Francisco in the seventies to attending an Ivy League college on a scholarship. She writes with clarity, honesty and humor, showing her unique perspective on life.

Here’s an excerpt:

“But time, like traffic, moves on. In a moment that lasts maybe a year or two, everything that was clear about the world becomes hazy and then sharpens up again, like the view through a camera lens as you twist the focus in and out. What you once knew without thinking begins to clash with the evidence darting out at you from all around, from TV and movies and comic books and magazines and even real life . . . This is the  moment when you discover that there are people out there who have things that you don’t. You’re not sure why things are different for those other people, but you are sure how they are different: these people have lots of things—new things, big things—and they are always getting more things. . . ”

“Frances Lefkowitz writes with grace, wistfulness, melancholy, and strength. The road to self-knowledge is twisted and arduous, but when it goes through a writer as good as Ms. Lefkowitz, the ride is a delight.”  — Andrei Codrescu, bestselling author and NPR commentator for All Things Considered.

To Have Not was named one of 5 Best Memoirs of 2010 by In addition to being a superb writer,  Frances is an excellent writing teacher. She blogs about writing, publishing, and footwear at

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