My real grandfather, with me, age 8 weeks, and already a believer.

OTHER ESSAYS & STORIES

 18 Novels that Spoke Truth to Prejudice, a piece for MLK Day on BuzzFeed Books
A call to optimism on the future of fiction in HuffingtonPost Books
Read Lonely, Lonely, Lonely is the Lord of Hosts, a short story in Commentary's Summer Fiction Issue.

 Harvey Fishplatz and the Mysteries of the Universe, a short story in Zeek's Fall 2011 issue
 Why We Broke Up Review of Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
 The Tiger's Wife Review of The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Some Places I Have Lived, an audio story for Gimme Shelter: The Sonic Sukkah Experience put on by the JCC of San Francisco
Read Spin, an essay in Post Road Magazine
Read Rednecks for Obama, an essay with Danielle Blau in The Atlantic Online.
Read Nakadike Shiksa, an essay in Jewcy magazine.
Read When Skeptics Die: A Story,  my first fiction publication, in Commentary.
Read Tastes Like Regular: A Story (or read it in Italian!), a short story published in The Literary Review.
 The Weekend Review of The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink
 The Cookbook Collector Review of The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
The Frozen Rabbi Review of The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern 
A Pilgrim's Progress: Review of A.B. Yehoshua's A Woman in Jerusalem (part 1)
 A Pilgrim's Progress: Review of A.B. Yehoshua's A Woman in Jerusalem (part 2)
 Are You In This Family or Against It?: Review of Charlotte Mendelson's When We Were Bad (part 1)
  Are You In This Family or Against It?: Review of Charlotte Mendelson's When We Were Bad (part 2)
 Without Mercy: Review of Elissa Albert's How This Night is Different
 Zuckerman Unplugged: Review of Philip Roth's Exit Ghost
 A Sticky Marvel in the Jungle: Review of Marie Arana's Cellophane
Color War, Oh What A Bore: Review of an anthology of writings on summer camp
 Old Love: Review of Library of America Edition of IB Singer's Collected Works
 The War At Home: Review of Nancy Reisman's The First Desire
 The Old Anti-Semitism: Review of Clare Dudman's 98 Reasons for Being
 Sex and The Holy City: Review of Ruchama King's Seven Blessings


 

When God Is Your Favorite Writer


It was during the presidential election of 2000 that I finally discovered what kind of Jew I was. Asked to name his favorite political philosopher, George W. Bush thought a moment, and then replied "Jesus." An uproarious laugh erupted in my living room, as it did in living rooms across the Democratic swaths of the country –we would continue laughing for weeks, egged on by the media – but I felt my first kinship with the candidate. I thought to myself, "What's so funny about that? My favorite author is God." That was when I first struck on the idea of a writerly Jew.

Though the term 'writerly Jew' is clearly just the old familiar 'Jewish writer' with the words reversed, a writerly Jew is something altogether different from a Jewish writer; 'writerly Jew' is not a literary category at all. A writerly Jew is simply someone whose entire sense of herself as Jewish consists in stories. When a writerly Jew thinks of her Jewishness she thinks of these stories, and when she thinks of these stories she feels very Jewish.
—Excerpted from Who We Are: On Being (and Not Being) a Jewish American Writer, winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award

READ FULL STORY »

Buy: Barnes&Noble | Amazon.com | BookSense