When Annabelle Gurwitch was a child, surrounded by a cast of epically dysfunctional relatives, she secretly prayed that it was all a terrible mistake. Maybe she was a long lost daughter of Joni Mitchell or a reincarnation of the Russian princess, Anastasia. A family of bootleggers, gamblers, and philanderers, the Gurwitches have always been a bit vague on the standard ideal of a loving and supportive family. Their definition includes people you can count on to borrow money from, hold a grudge against, or blackmail. One day, unfortunately, Gurwitch woke up to realize that she’d made similar, if not the same, mistakes as everyone else before her—just in a new zip code. Wherever she went, there they were.
With her wry wit and hard-learned wisdom, Gurwitch explores the inescapable, yet rewarding, realities of life with her relatives and her southern Jewish roots, as well as her flirtation with surrogate families including theater folk, pet people, the sisterhood, and the ladies who brunch at Tel Aviv Gardens Retirement Home in Miami, Florida. She’s learned that for better or for worse (you can guess which) it’s worth celebrating the traditions, rituals, and recipes that come with a shared mythology and legacy, even if her own inheritance amounts to a small plot of land split between five relatives on an ill-fated sliver of sand known as Massacre Island.
Written with haunting detail, poignant family moments, laugh out loud comedy and social commentary, Gurwitch delivers a provocative treatise on the importance and insanity of family. Wherever You Go, There They Are is a must-read for anyone who’s even occasionally been frustrated by the people they share carbohydrate-laden meals with every year.
Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress and the author of three books: the New York Times bestseller and Thurber Prize finalist I See You Made an Effort, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up (co-authored with her husband Jeff Kahn), which is now a play receiving its fifth national tour; and Fired! Gurwitch first gained a loyal comedic following during her years co-hosting Dinner and a Movie on TBS. Her essays and satire have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Nation, Harpers Bazaar, More, Glamour, Marie Claire, Los Angeles Times, L.A. Magazine, Salon, and The Hollywood Reporter as well as numerous outlets online. Gurwitch hosted programs on HBO, ABC, and The Planet Green Network. Her acting credits include Seinfeld, Boston Legal, Dexter, Daddy Day Care and Melvin Goes to Dinner. Gurwitch has made frequent and much lauded performances on stage in Los Angeles and off-Broadway. She is a frequent keynote speaker at book festivals and women’s empowerment conferences, a prominent figure in the atheist and Jewish communities, active in the sustainability movement, and a comedic commentator on politics and culture. She is empty nesting in Los Angeles.
A hysterically funny and slyly insightful new collection of essays from New York Times bestselling author Annabelle Gurwitch, about her own family of scam artists and hucksters, as well as the sisterhoods, temporary tribes, communities, and cults who have become surrogates along the way.