Promise Whittaker, the diminutive but decisive acting director of the Museum of Asian Art, is pregnant again--and that's just the beginning of her problems. Her mentor, the previous director, has suddenly quit, and is on a dig in China's Taklamakan Desert. Her favorite curator has dropped a priceless porcelain bowl, once owned by Thomas Jefferson, down the museum's steps. Another colleague has been embezzling from the museum to pay for her fertility treatments. And her far too handsome ancillary director is clearly up to no good. Promise's offbeat efforts to hold everything together make her a character who, in the words of the Newark Star-Ledger, "you'll be falling in love with before you've turned the first page."
“An authoritative novel about the museum world. . . . Her wit is equal to her wisdom.” —The Seattle Times
“The Smithsonian Institute is many things, most of them quite wonderful . . . but to the best of my knowledge it has rarely if ever been the inspiration and setting for a novel. . . . Zuravleff is very smart, knows her subject and writes very well.” —The Washington Post
“This multi-layered, erudite novel implies that it is only in the face of destruction, in the gathering of the shards, that meaning and humanity reside.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“The Bowl Is Already Broken is pure delight. . . . All of us would enjoy this book.” —The Roanoke Times