Literature

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, z"l

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Writing a blog post about a feminist theorist as sharp and influential as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is an intimidating prospect, which is why it's taken me more than a week to get to this post in memory of Sedgwick, who died on April 12.

Remembering Miriam Goodman - Her Church, The Chicken; Her Guests, Her Minyan

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Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, I've been reading some new poems and revisiting old favorites by women like Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Maxine Kumin.

What I learned from Aliza Lavie ...

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Did you know that there's a special prayer for preparing the wicks of Shabbat candles? Neither did I. This past Tuesday, I listened to Dr. Aliza Lavie discuss her book, A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book, a collection of prayers composed by and for women over hundreds of years in all parts of the world.

Thinking of Grace

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With all that's happening in Gaza, and with yesterday's arrests of eight Jewish women who were peacefully protesting outside of the Israeli consulate in Toronto, I can't help but think of Grace Paley.

Muriel Rukeyser: Daring to Live for the Impossible

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While listening to the Writer's Almanac this morning, I was reminded that today is the birthday of poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) who lived to "breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry."

Film Review: Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn

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If I ever had any doubt about whether "the ordinary" mattered, Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn drove such doubt away. Based on a true story, and adapted from the play by Ellen Cassedy, Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn is a life portrait of Jessie Singer Sylvester, a retired elderly Jewish woman living on a pension in 1976 who is confronting the changes in her life and in her beloved Brooklyn neighborhood.

Book Revew: Normal

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Normal, by Amy Bloom (Random House, 2002)

Usually, we have used this space to review new books (see recent reviews of The Book of Dahlia, Away, and The Zookeeper's Wife), but I can not let the opportunity pass to write a bit about Amy Bloom's non-fiction book, Normal, which was first published in 2002. I had initially put Normal on the Jewesses with Attitude Summer Reading List as a whim - an aside, even, just something to accompany my reading of Away if I decided that I liked Amy Bloom. I liked Away a lot, and now, having read Normal, I like Ms. Bloom so much more.

Since we’re talking about comic books…

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Those of you whose lives don't involve a weekly update on what new comics have come out this Wednesday might not be familiar with Y The Last Man, a 60-issue comic book (10 volume graphic novel), whose much anticipated final issue just came out last month.  The premise of Y The Last Man is that a mystery plague instantaneously wipes out every man and male mammal on planet Earth except for Yorick Brown, a 22 year old magician/slacker, and his capuchin monkey, Ampersand.  

Book Review: The Zookeeper's Wife

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The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (Norton 2007)

I made the mistake of picking up The Zookeeper's Wife and reading it as though it were a novel.  Maybe I was just in that headspace because the first two books on the Jewesses with Attitude Summer Reading List were fiction.  The Zookeeper's Wife, however, is a genre-bending piece of prose that defies the conventions of history, memoir, and naturalist writing, all of which it employs.

Amelia the Bard

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It goes without saying that Jewish women have so many accomplishments to be proud of.  A quick search through the Jewish Women's Archive's Discover pages reveals women both lauded and nearly forgotten who have made strides in business, medicine, philosophy and the arts.  Telling their stories is our mission.  And this story is a big one.

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