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Books

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New Beginnings, Long-Distance Love, and Mother-Activist Woes

Dear Emma,

I’m about to start law school in another city, and I’m really excited. The only problem? I will be leaving my partner behind, so our relationship will be long-distance for three years. I’m really nervous about it.

––Leaving My Heart in Boston

Rachel Kadish with the Weight of Ink

Video Interview with Rachel Kadish

“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.

Topics: History, Fiction
Rena Lubin and Her Mother as Young Girls

The Power of Personal Histories

As an aspiring oral historian, I’ve always gotten chills when listening to recorded interviews. I love the interviewer’s inviting questions, the way the interviewee may leap into a narrative, the chance for the listener to peer into the interviewee’s past, and the powerful, sometimes nostalgic, recollection of a story.

New American Best Friend

Ode to Slam Poetry

I’ve always been in love with words. As long as I can remember, I’ve read everything and anything I could get my hands on. My love for stories turned me into a storyteller. However, my writing used to always be about hypotheticals and was firmly entrenched in the fiction genre. My protagonists tended to be straight, white, Christian people, because they’re mostly who you see in literature. 

Topics: Fiction, Poetry
Winding Road Stock Photo

On Pulling Up Your Big-Kid Bloomers, and Running for the Hills

Dear Emma,

A friend I haven’t seen for over a year is planning to visit my city and stay for two weeks. Last time she stayed with me, we ended up fighting (and then didn’t see each other for over a year). She called yesterday to see if she can stay with me. Do I have an obligation to host her?

––Unwilling Host

The Fortunate Ones and Ellen Umansky

An Interview with Author Ellen Umansky

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.”

Daniella Shear with her Grandmother

Activism in My Genes

My grandma and I have always been close despite only seeing each other a few times a year. I love the time we spend together in New York City and DC seeing Broadway shows, eating cupcakes, and doing jigsaw puzzles. For my entire life she has had a career as an event planner, and as I’ve gotten older she has let me help with events when I can. Although I knew that she had attended the March on Washington and edited a Jewish newspaper, I didn’t know the extent to which activism had played a role in her life.

Composite of Anna Solomon and Leaving Lucy Pear

Anna Solomon on History, Motherhood, and Leaving Lucy Pear

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
Stock Image of An Iron

Emma on Pushy Parents, Domestic Chores, and the Fall of Capitalism

Dear Emma,

I am a student on a college campus and I too fight for women's issues (i.e., fighting how student debt impacts women more than men, sexual assault, and Title IX, and, most recently, getting our campus to supply Plan B to students in an on-campus market that is open 24/7). What advice do you have to make my work more effective?

Mother of All Questions Cover

The Mother of the Mother of All Questions

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

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Books." (Viewed on August 14, 2018) <https://jwa.org/blog/books>.

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