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Book Club

Learn more about JWA’s Book Club.

Heartburn Book Cover CROP

A Different Kind of Romantic Comedy

by Miranda Cooper

Published nearly 40 years ago, Nora Ephron's first novel, Heartburn, still resonates.

Topics: Memoirs
Disobedience Book Cover

"Disobedience" and the History of Jewish Lesbian Obscenity

by Sophie Hurwitz

Naomi Alderman's acclaimed novel Disobedience is the latest in a long line of Jewish works about women in love and owes much to predecessors like Gut fun Nekome.

If All The Seas Were Ink book cover and Ilana Kurshan headshot

An Interview with Ilana Kurshan about "If All The Seas Were Ink"

by Dina Adelsky

JWA sat down with author Ilana Kurshan to discuss her award-winning memoir, If All The Seas Were Ink, one of our Book Club picks.

Topics: Memoirs
The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt, page 228 CROP

Ken Krimstein on "The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt"

by Ken Krimstein

Exclusively for JWA, author and artist Ken Krimstein discusses his graphic novel, The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt.

Ayelet Tsabari / The Best Place On Earth

Video Interview with Ayelet Tsabari

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Judith Rosenbaum interviews author Ayelet Tsabari about her book, The Best Place On Earth, one of JWA's Book Club picks.

Topics: Fiction
Forest Dark Book Cover

Review: Nicole Krauss's "Forest Dark"

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Forest Dark is an exploration of what happens when the relationships, material objects, and geographic locations that have come to constitute an identity fall apart.

The Waiting Room Book Cover

Leah Kaminsky On Her Book "The Waiting Room"

by Leah Kaminsky

Exclusively for JWA, Leah Kaminsky reflects on the inspiration for her book, The Waiting Room and contemplates the power of memory.

Topics: Fiction
Eternal Life Crop

An Interview With Dara Horn About "Eternal Life"

by Rebecca Long

JWA sat down with award-winning author Dara Horn to discuss her latest novel, Eternal Life, one of our Book Club picks. Eternal Life tells the story of Rachel, a woman who cannot die.

Topics: Fiction
A River Could Be A Tree crop

Angela Himsel On Her Book "A River Could Be A Tree"

by Angela Himsel

Exclusively for JWA, Angela Himsel reflects on seeing her book A River Could Be A Tree in stores for the first time and meditates on the uncategorizable nature of books... and people.

Topics: Memoirs
Abbi Jacobson / I Might Regret This

You Won't Regret This

by Rebecca Long

Onstage with Boston Globe reporter and fellow Jewish lady Meredith Goldstein, Jacobson is personable, sharp, and at times, self-deprecating. Her comedic timing is exactly what you would expect from one of the creators/writers/stars of Broad City: spot on.

Topics: Memoirs
Regina Persisted Book Cover

An Interview with Rabbi Sandy Sasso About Regina Jonas

by  Judith Rosenbaum

JWA Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Rabbi Sandy Sasso about her 2018 children’s book, about the world’s first woman rabbi. Watch their fascinating conversation here, and learn about Regina Jonas’s legacy and impact on Rabbi Sasso and the other women rabbis who followed in her footsteps.

Topics: Rabbis, Fiction
Gateway to the Moon Book Cover

The Origin Story of "Gateway to the Moon" by Mary Morris

by Mary Morris

In an exclusive piece for JWA, Mary Morris details her inspiration for her newest novel, Gateway to the Moon.

Fruit Geode Book Cover

Alicia Jo Rabins On Her New Poetry Collection, "Fruit Geode"

by Alicia Jo Rabins

Alicia Jo Rabins’s second poetry collection, Fruit Geode, is a searingly personal account of making the transition to motherhood as a Jewish woman in the early years of the millenium. Exclusively for JWA, Rabins reflects on her inspiration and creative process for two selected poems.

Jewish Radical Feminism, by Joyce Antler

An Interview With Joyce Antler About "Jewish Radical Feminism"

by  Joyce Antler

JWA sat down with Joyce Antler, renowned social and cultural historian, to discuss her most recent book, Jewish Radical Feminism: Voices from the Women's Liberation Movement.

Rachel Kadish with the Weight of Ink

Video Interview with Rachel Kadish

by Emily Cataneo

“What does it take for a woman to not be defeated when the whole world is telling her to sit down and mind her manners?” This is the question that Rachel Kadish, author of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award-winning historical novel of The Weight of Ink, wanted to answer when she sat down twelve years ago to write this ambitious and mesmerizing novel.

The Fortunate Ones and Ellen Umansky

An Interview with Author Ellen Umansky

by Larisa Klebe and Emily Cataneo

JWA’s June Book Club pick isThe Fortunate Ones, a debut novel by author Ellen Umansky that tells the story of two women, one an older Holocaust survivor, the other a young woman living in Los Angeles, and the stolen painting that binds them together. We talked to Umansky about intergenerational friendship, becoming a writer, and the meaning of the word “fortunate.”

Composite of Anna Solomon and Leaving Lucy Pear

Anna Solomon on History, Motherhood, and "Leaving Lucy Pear"

by Emily Cataneo

Our May Book Club pick is Leaving Lucy Pear, by Anna Solomon. This historical novel takes place in New England in the 1910s and 1920s and follows a cast of characters whose lives are transformed by a teenage girl’s decision to leave her newborn baby in a pear orchard. I spoke with Solomon about mothers, history, and why 1920s America is not so different from our country today.

Topics: Fiction
Mother of All Questions Cover

The Mother of the Mother of All Questions

by Emily Cataneo

The Mother of all Questions was published in 2017, and it is comprised mostly of essays written between 2014 and 2016. When Solnit wrote these essays, she didn’t know what would happen at the end of 2016, and how much disillusionment the ensuing eighteen months would bring.

Topics: Non-Fiction
Jaclyn Friedman

Video Interview with Jaclyn Friedman

by  Judith Rosenbaum
An interview with Jacyln Friedman about her book, .
Unscrewed Close-up title image

Unscrewing Ourselves

by Bella Book

Friedman’s book dives into the national narrative of female sexual submissiveness that’s perpetuated by our patriarchal culture. This narrative comes in the form of abstinence-only sex education, widespread toxic masculinity, and a collective reluctance to support women’s sexuality on a social and political level.

Sheryl Sandberg with Option B

Finding Strength From Our Foremothers

by Sheryl Sandberg

Like many Americans, I owe an enormous debt to my ancestors who traveled here in search of a better life. Their courage created my family’s future. And in particular, I feel a special bond to the long line of women, stretching back generations, whose boldness and sacrifices made my life possible. 

Idra Novey

From Rural Pennsylvania to Rio de Janeiro

by Idra Novey

Women didn’t show up for Saturday morning services in tailored white wool jackets or carrying an angular black handbag with a metal clasp large enough to double as a weapon. The occasion was my older sister’s bat mitzvah. Eleven years old at the time and trapped in a hand-me-down dress with built-in shoulder pads, I was transfixed.

Topics: Fiction
Composite Image of Marge Piercy with He, She and It

An Interview with Marge Piercy

by Emily Cataneo

We spoke with Marge Piercy’about her book He, She, and It, dystopia in 2017,what she thinks about artificial intelligence (AI), and how young activists can fight the good fight.

Topics: Fiction
Tova and The Book of Separation

Tova Mirvis’ Journey from Orthodoxy to Memoir

by Tova Mirvis

Tova Mirvis is the author of the recently released The Book of Separation, a memoir chronicling her growing doubts about her Orthodox faith and her ultimate decision to leave after forty years in the community.

Abigail Pogrebin (Media Object Resized)

Abigail Pogrebin On Her Jewish Year

by Lisa Batya Feld

Abigail Pogrebin was Jewish, but not that Jewish. That is, like many Jews she knew, she expressed her religion more through culture than through traditional practice. A few years ago, Pogrebin started wondering whether she was missing out on something important and decided to find out by celebrating eighteen Jewish holidays in twelve months.

What resulted was My Jewish Year.

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