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Bookish Content

Read author interviews, book reviews, excerpts, reflections on writing, and sneak peeks of upcoming releases by JWA's favorite writers.

Eternal Life Crop

An Interview With Dara Horn About "Eternal Life"

JWA sat down with award-winning author Dara Horn to discuss her latest novel, Eternal Life, one of our Book List 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"

Exclusively for JWA, 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

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

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

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"

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"

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

“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
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.”

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
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
Jaclyn Friedman

Video Interview with Jaclyn Friedman

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

Unscrewing Ourselves

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

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

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

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

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

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.

"Stone Butch Blues," by Leslie Feinberg

Queer History and Stone Butch Blues

Two years ago to the month, I read Stone Butch Blues for the first time. Leslie Feinberg had made previous appearances in my life, distant traces of hir legacy filtering through references in other books and news of hir death months prior, but it wasn’t until May/June 2015 that I finally sank into Feinberg’s oeuvre and felt the force of hir most famous book.

The Beautiful Possible Book Cover

The Beautiful Possible: An Interview with Amy Gottlieb

In The Beautiful Possible, Amy Gottlieb traces the lives of rabbis and spiritual seekers who are connected in an intricate web of love and secrets, following them from the ashrams of India to the suburbs of 1950s America. JWA sat down with Gottlieb to discuss how she came to write her first novel, the influence of poetry, and how characters can surprise you.

Topics: Fiction
Clara Lemlich in a Shirtwaist, circa 1910

Writing a Revolutionary

Authors are often asked about the inspiration behind their books. Usually, that question is a tricky one to answer. But in the case of my historical novel for young adults, Audacity, it’s easy. The life of labor activist Clara Lemlich was all the inspiration I needed.

Topics: Labor, Poetry
Rebecca Traister with All the Single Ladies

Video Interview with Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister talks to JWA about her book, All The Single Ladies.
Topics: Non-Fiction
Imperial Wife, Irina Reyn Composite Photo

Powerful Wives, Then and Now

I did not set out to write a historical or timely novel but I do think The Imperial Wife proved to be both. Ironically, it was only by looking back at eighteenth-century Russia, during the time of the fascinating ruler Catherine the Great, that I was able to think more deeply about the challenges facing contemporary women in America.

Topics: Fiction
A Bintel Brief Main Image

A Bintel Brief: An Interview with Liana Finck

How many ways can you tell a story? To tell hers, artist and graphic novelist Liana Finck combines history, humor, and art in her book, A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York. Inspired by the questions, fears, and uncertainties of turn-of-the-century Jewish immigrants, Finck lovingly adapts and presents several letters from the Bintel Brief advice column of the Yiddish newspaper, The Forward.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Bookish Content." (Viewed on January 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/programs/bookclub/bookish-content>.

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