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Nora Glickman

b. July 23, 1944

by Mónica Bausset-Orcutt
Last updated June 23, 2021

Argentinian-born Nora Glickman has a vast literary output, including over a hundred journal and review articles, many of which focus on the image of the Jew in Latin American and Brazilian literature.
In Brief

Nora Glickman was born in Bernasconi, La Pampa, Argentina, and received graduate degrees from Columbia and New York University. Her many accomplishments include her literary criticism, translations, and editing. Glickman’s writing examines the trajectory and the image of Ashkenazi and Sephardic characters in Latin American literature and film. Her topics include cultural identity conflicts, exile, and interactions between diverse ethnicities and her characters defy convention and rise above their marginal roles. She is presently a professor of Latin American literature at Queens College of the City University of New York.

Family and Education

Nora Glickman was born in Bernasconi, La Pampa, Argentina, on July 23, 1944. Her grandparents fled pogroms in Bessarabia, Russia, at the end of the nineteenth century and settled as farmers in the colonies founded by Baron Hirsch in Argentina. Both her parents were born in Bernasconi, La Pampa, her father, Mauricio Rosembuj, in 1912, and her mother, Rosalía Marcus, in 1916. Glickman’s older sister, Elba, was born in 1936.

The Jewish farmers did not live far from the small villages of La Pampa.  They cultivated wheat and corn and grew cattle and sheep. Bernasconi had a primary school, a small synagogue, and an agricultural cooperative. Glickman’s father established a crop insurance agency there.

When Glickman was five years old, her family moved to Bahía Blanca, a large town in the province of Buenos Aires that had a high school, but they kept their business in Bernasconi and the farm where they spent most of their time. In Bahía Blanca Glickman attended primary school in the morning and Yiddish school in the afternoon. 

In 1964 Nora married Henry Simeon Glickman, a clinical psychologist from Scotland. The couple emigrated to the United States in 1965. They have three children—Heather Yael (b. 1972), Mark (b. 1974), and Philip Adrian (b. 1981)—and nine grandchildren.  

Glickman attended Bar Ilan University in Israel (1961-1964) and also studied English literature while living in Leeds, in Northern England. She completed her M.A. degree in Spanish Literature at Columbia University in 1972 and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at New York University in 1978. Presently, she is a professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at Queens College and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has also served as Acting Chair of Latin American and Latino Studies at Queens College and President of the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences. 

Literary Criticism and Translation

Widely recognized as a literary critic, a short story writer, and a dramatist, Glickman has published over a hundred articles and reviews in major journals and anthologies, a considerable number of which relate to contemporary theater, Jewish authors, women writers, and Latin American Jewish literature. Glickman published her first study of the Jewish immigration experience in Latin America in 1984: Leib Malach y la trata de blanacas, introducing a translation of Malach’s play Ibergus from the Yiddish by Glickman and her mother, Rosalía Rosembuj. The introduction to the play consists of a critical study of the white slave trade. Further research on the topic resulted in Glickman’s publication of The Jewish White Slave Trade: The Untold Story of Raquel Liberman (Garland Press, 2000). This book contains her discovery of photos and letters of Raquel Liberman, which she translated from Yiddish into English, and is a more extensive study of the white slave trade.

From 1989 to 2016 Glickman was associate editor of the journal Yiddish-Modern Jewish Studies, specializing in American and Hispanic Jewish writings. In 1992, she edited and translated for the journal a selection of Argentine Jewish literature, one of the first such anthologies to be published in the United States. Along with Gloria Waldman, in 1996 she co-edited and translated seven major playwrights in Argentine Jewish Theatre. With Robert di Antonio, she co-edited Tradition and Innovation: Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writings (1993), which provides a thorough examination of contemporary issues in Latin American fiction. In 2004 she published Crossing Continental Bridges: Cinematic and Literary Representations of Spanish and Latin American Themes, co-edited with Alejandro Varderi. In 2011, she and Victoria Cox wrote Presencia del inglés en el teatro y el cine argentinos: de los orígenes a Malvina (The Presence of English in Argentine Theater and Cinema: From its Origins to Malvina), and in 2018 she co-edited Evolving Images: Jewish Latin American Literature, with Ariana Huberman.  

Fiction

Glickman’s short stories, a large number of which are based on personal life experiences in Argentina, England, and the United States have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has published four collections of short stories: Uno de sus Juanes (One of Her Johns) (1983), Mujeres, memorias, malogros (Women, Memories, Mishaps) (1991), Puerta entre abierta (Door Ajar) (2004), and Hilván de instantes (Loosely Stiched Tales) (2015).

In her fiction, Glickman explores themes of exile, cultural identity conflicts, and interactions between diverse groups of immigrants.  Her characters struggle to survive, and to rise above their marginal roles. Her style, at times playful and ironic, can also be introspective and philosophical when dealing with life in academia. Her stories include reminiscences of childhood in the Argentine-Jewish colonies of the rural Pampas, of adolescence in the provincial city of Bahía Blanca, and of maturity in large urban areas, particularly New York and its suburbs. The figure of “Juan” as the object of the heroine’s fantasies about men is a presence in several stories throughout her narrative. 

Theater

Nora Glickman’s interest in the theater started at a very early age, when she created her own puppet shows. As an adolescent, she frequently attended the Teatro Independiente of Buenos Aires, as well as a variety of Yiddish plays performed during the 1950s. Four of her plays (Noticias de Suburbio, Un día en Nueva York, Liturgias, and Una tal Raquel) were published in Spanish in Teatro de Nora Glickman (2000), and later translated into English in her Bilingual Anthology of Drama (2004). These plays have been produced in Europe, Latin America, North America, and Israel. 

A Day in New York reflects Glickman’s Jewish-Latino experience in the United States, juxtaposing the vicissitudes of Voltaire’s Candide with a tumultuous day in the life of Luisa, the Hispanic heroine. As Luisa drives her car during her endless day from one New York borough to another, she listens to Voltaire's Candide on tape. At the onset, Candide's love for Cunegonde, for which he risks his teaching position at his protector's mansion, could be seen as running parallel to Luisa's energetic start of the day as mother and teacher. Luisa's second tape of Cunegonde as a prostitute, sharing her services between a rabbi and a priest, would correspond to the many accommodations Luisa has to make to fit into her schedule. By the time Luisa listens to her third tape at the end of the day, in which she learns of Candide's final resignation into accepting the wisdom of Pangloss to cultivate his garden, Luisa finds herself returning home out of provisions but holding a little plant for her garden, as consolation. First written and performed as a monologue in 1995, A Day in New York was later developed into a four-character play.

Suburban News, winner of the Jerome Theater Award and first performed in New York City in 1994, deals with women’s relationships and with the plight of illegal residents, while A Certain Raquel, based on the life of Raquel Liberman, first appeared in Sarah Blacher Cohen’s edition of Making a Scene: The Contemporary Drama of Jewish-American Women (1997). The play examines a sordid chapter of Jewish history in Argentina, dealing with sexual traffic during the early decades of the twentieth century.

Glickman’s interest in the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico became the subject of Liturgies, a play that incorporates her research on a Portuguese-Brazilian martyr of the Inquisition, Branca Días, who was burnt at the stake in Lisbon in 1743. The Spanish version of this play was performed for two consecutive years in Buenos Aires at the prestigious I.F.T. Yiddish Theater. Two Charlottes, in Dramaturgas en el escena del mundo (Dramatists on the World Stage), edited by Diana Taylor in 2004, is based on the lives of the German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943) and of the non-Jewish French poet Charlotte Delbo (1913–1985). The play premiered at the International University Theatre Festival held in May 2003 in Jerusalem and continued to be performed in several European and American countries. 

Glickman’s publication of dramatic works, From Shadows to Voices / De sombras a voces (2018), is a bilingual anthology consisting of ten monologues by women, including historical, biblical, literary, and fictional figures.

Selected Works

Fiction

From Shadows to Voices/De sombras a voces: Diez Monólogos de mujeres/Antología bilingüe. New York: Sudaquia Editores, 2018.

Hilván de instante. Santiago: Ril Editores, 2015.   

Antología Bilingue/Bilingual Anthology. Buenos Aires: Tu Clave, 2004. 

Bridging Continents: Cinematic and Literary Representations of Spanish and Latin American Themes. Edited by Nora Glickman and A. Varderi. Chasqu: iRevista de Literatura Latinoamericana, 2004.

“Dos Charlottes.” In Dramaturgas en la escena del Mundo. Buenos Aires:  Editorial Nueva Generación, 2004. 

Puerta entreabierta. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2004.

Teatro de Nora Glickman. Buenos Aires: 2000.

Mujeres, memorias, malogros. Buenos Aires: 1991.

Non-Fiction

Introduction to Delibes-Sobejano: Correspondencia. Universidad de Valladolid, 2014. 

“Efectos tragicómicos en el Moliere de Sabina Berman.” In Critical Approaches to Jewish Mexican-Literature, ed. Darrell B. Lockhart. Tempe, AZ: Chasqui, 2013. 

“Andando se hacen los caminos de Alicia Dujovne Ortiz.” Revista Iberoamericana, vol.191, April 2000: 381-392. 

The Jewish White Slave Trade and The Untold Story of Raquel Liberman. New York: Routledge, 2000.

“Latin American Jewish Literature.” In Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Edited by Verity Smith, 479–450. London: Taylor & Francis, 1997.

“Discovering Self in History: Aída Bortnik and Gerardo Goloboff.” In The Jewish Diaspora in Latin America: New Studies on History and Literature, edited by David Sheinin and Lois Barr, 53–60. New York: Routledge, 1996.

“Variations on Solitude in the Plays of Diana Raznovich.” Jewish Book Annual 53 (1995–1996): 141–154.

“Jewish Women Writers in Latin America.” In Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writings, edited by Judith Baskin, 99–322. Detroit: 1994.

“David Viñas’s En la semana trágica: A Novelist’s Focus on an Argentine Pogrom.” Modern Jewish Studies Annual 4 (January 1985): 64–71.

Leib Malach y la trata de blancas. Buenos Aires: 1984.

“The Jewish White Slave Trade in Latin American Writings.” In American Jewish Archives, 39/2 (November 1982): 178–189.

Martínez,Elena. “La problemática de la mujer en los textos de Julia Ortiz, Mireya Robles y Nora Glickman.”  In New Voices in Latin American Literature, edited by Silvio Torres-Saillant, et al, 186-206. Jackson Heights, NY: Ollantay Center for the Arts, 1993. 

Bibliography

Bausset-Orcutt, Mónica. Claves en El teatro de Nora Glickman. Buenos Aires: Nueva Generación, 2007. 

Bausset-Orcutt, Mónica. “Nora Glickman: Diaspora and Identity in Liturgies and Blanca Días.” Modern Jewish Studies 12 (2001): 98–107.

Bernstein, Samuel B. “Las dinámicas artísticas de Liturgias de Nora Glickman.” In Recreando la cultura judeoargentina. Buenos Aires: Editorial Milá, 2002, 267–280.

Cordones-Cook, Juanamaría. “Liturgias: Máscaras de identidad sefardita.” Latin American Theatre Review, 37:1 (fall 2003): 105–116. 

Dellepiane, Angela. “Nora Glickman: Mujeres memorias malogros.”  Confluencia 17, (2001): 131–134.

Holte, Matilde R. Teatro contemporáneo judeoargentino: Una perspectiva feminista bíblica. Buenos Aires: AMIA, 2004.

Schneider, Judith Morganroth. “Una lectura femenina y judía de dos escritoras judeo-argentinas: Nora Glickman y Alicia Steimberg.” In Tercer Simposio Internacional de Literatura Crítica Literaria de la Literatura Latinoamericana del Siglo XX, 319–328. Salta: 1984.

Schneider, Judith Morganroth. “Forjando nuevas alianzas en la diáspora latinoamericana: Nora Glickman y Esmeralda Santiago, dos escritoras hispanas en los suburbios de Nueva York.” In Exilios Femeninos. Huelva: 1999, 293–302.

Schneider, Judith Morganroth. “Nuevas mestizas: Hibridismo y feminismo en el teatro de  Nora Glickman.” Alba de América 39–40 (2002): 181–190. 

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How to cite this page

Bausset-Orcutt, Mónica. "Nora Glickman." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 23 June 2021. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 16, 2022) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/glickman-nora>.