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Writing

Joan Rivers, 1933 - 2014

“I am not the ideal Jewish woman,” Joan Rivers admits in a comedy act filmed in the Jewish Women’s Archive film, Making Trouble. “I love to take [my audience] to the edge,” she says. “I love to get them upset . . . And ruin their value system.” Known for her aggressiveness and her “unkosher” bawdy style, in critic Sarah Cohen’s words, Rivers (nee Joan Molinsky), Phi Beta Kappa Barnard graduate and daughter of a Brooklyn Jewish doctor, performed for over forty years.

Leslie Feinberg, 1949 - 2014

I was in an alleyway in Chicago the first time someone told me about Stone Butch Blues. “You’ve got to read this book,” she said. “Stone Butch Blues.” The “she” in question was an older Femme (they always were), and the name of the book got right under my skin. I can remember the feeling: My ears perked up, head tilted back, eyes focused. Stone Butch Blues, I thought. Ok. I was sixteen years old, had been out since I was fourteen, and had been a tomboy all my life.

Margot Adler, 1946 - 2014

Margot was seven and a half years my senior and, with the exception of a few gaps, she’s always been a part of my life. There is some reason to believe that we met when I was less than one year old and again when I was 10. However, our real friendship began when I was 13 and she 20.

For years, we were inseparable. When she got married, we still spent time together, although we had less contact as she and John raised their son.

Leslea Newman

A proud lesbian feminist writer, Leséa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies.

Anita Diamant

Both through her writing and through her work as founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, Anita Diamant has breathed new life into Jewish midrash and rituals.

Irene Nemirovsky

First censored and then killed during the Holocaust, novelist Irène Némirovsky finally achieved the recognition she deserved long after her death.

Jaimy Gordon

Jaimy Gordon won the National Book Award for Lords of Misrule, her novel of horseracing, desperation, and luck set in West Virginia.

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks had a stellar career as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, but it was her 2005 novel March which won her the Pulitzer Prize.

Kadya Molodowsky

One of the brightest stars of the Yiddish literary world, Kadya Molodowsky defied categorization—advocating for both Yiddish and Zionist culture, refusing to be defined as “just” a woman writer—all while crafting a staggering body of acclaimed poems, stories, and essays.

Penina Moïse

Penina Moïse shaped Jewish culture through her poetry as the first woman poet included in an American prayer book.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Writing." (Viewed on December 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/writing>.

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