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Episode 41: Coming of Age with Judy Blume (Transcript)

Episode 41: Coming of Age with Judy Blume (Transcript)

Episode 41: Coming of Age with Judy Blume

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Judy Blume's classic teen novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, a story that normalizes the experiences of teenage girls: what it’s like to have your first period, your first bra, your first kiss… what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in your own body and confused about who you are. Margaret, who comes from an interfaith home, with one Jewish parent, goes through these teen rites of passage and also grapples with her religious identity. Like many millions of people around the world, Judith Rosenbaum and Nahanni Rous both read the book as pre-teens. They recently re-read the book with their own pre-teen daughters, Ma'ayan and Shalvah, and discussed what was dated and what still feels relevant about the book.

Naamah Book Cover

Interview with Sarah Blake, Author of "Naamah"

by Rebecca Long

Exclusively for JWA, author Sarah Blake discusses her novel Naamah.

Topics: Bible, Fiction
Jennifer Weiner / "Mrs. Everything" cover

An Interview with Jennifer Weiner, Author of "Mrs. Everything"

by Dina Adelsky

Exclusively for JWA, Jennifer Weiner discusses her book Mrs. Everything.

Topics: Fiction
Diary of a Lonely Girl Cover cropped

Jessica Kirzane on "Diary of a Lonely Girl"

by  Jessica Kirzane

Exclusively for JWA, Jessica Kirzane discusses her new translation of Yiddish author Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl.

Topics: Fiction
Alice Hoffman and book cover

An Interview with Alice Hoffman about "The World That We Knew"

by Karen Kashian

JWA interviews author Alice Hoffman about her new novel, The World That We Knew, one of our Book Club picks.

Topics: Fiction
Natasha Diaz and Book Cover

An Interview with Natasha Díaz about "Color Me In"

by Mikki Pugh

JWA sat down with author Natasha Díaz to discuss her debut novel, Color Me In, one of our Book Club picks.

Topics: Fiction
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.

"Gittel's Journey" Book Cover

A Passover Story: Lesléa Newman's "Gittel's Journey"

by Dr. Helene Meyers

Gittel’s Journey overlaps with one of the central themes of Pesach: that having been strangers ourselves, we are ethically obligated to remember the stranger.

Topics: Immigration, Fiction
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
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.

Boat Stock Image

Ask Emma: New Beginnings, and Long-Distance Love

by Emma G.

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.

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.

New American Best Friend

Ode to Slam Poetry

by Josephine Rosman

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

Ask Emma: Pulling Up Your Big-Kid Bloomers, and Running for the Hills

by Emma G.

A friend I haven’t seen for over a year is planning to visit my city and stay for two weeks. Do I have an obligation to host her?

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.”

Episode 22: The Red Tent: Claiming Our Place in the Story

Anita Diamant's 1997 novel The Red Tent began as a word-of-mouth book club favorite, and went on to become a publishing phenomenon and the inspiration for women's organizations around the world. In this first-ever Can We Talk? episode recorded in front of an audience, we bring you a lively conversation with Anita Diamant, host-producer Nahanni Rous, JWA Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum, Rabbi Liza Stern, and Rev. Gloria White-Hammond.

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
Stock Image of An Iron

Ask Emma: Pushy Parents, Domestic Chores, and the Fall of Capitalism

by Emma G.

I am a student on a college campus and I too fight for women's issues. What advice do you have to make my work more effective?

Composite Image of the Book of Miriam by Ellen Frankel

The Five Books of Miriam

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

At the root of The Five Books of Miriam is our great cultural urge as Jewish people—a desire to question, to be in a constant dialogue with God, with ourselves, and with each other.

Cast of Twilight

A Sparkling Vampire Ruined My Love Life

by Natalie Harder

When I was 11 I fell in love for the first time. He was funny and cute, dorky in the most endearing way, loyal to a fault, a bit of a spaz, very, very fictional, and went by the name of Ron Weasley. Real boys had cooties, so, in fifth grade, most of us preferred the fictional ones. Harry Potter and his best friend Ron Weasley, Troy Bolton from High School Musical (man, was Zac Efron a cutie)... Above all else, we loved Edward Cullen and Jacob Black, the love interests of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga. 

Topics: Schools, Film, Fiction
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