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Fiction

Everything Is…Complicated

I love reading Jewish literature. Seeing my culture and experience come to life on the pages of a book can be meaningful and validating; it makes my idiosyncratic religious practices feel normal, and real. The representation and recognition of Judaism in popular culture is crucial, but what do you do when the author gets it wrong? 

One Chosen People, Many Chosen Ways

As a young Jewish woman in contemporary society, I tend to use the word "pluralism" a lot, in a fairly abstract way. I sometimes struggle to explain this concept despite it meaning so much to me, but I have found no example better than Chaim Potok's iconic young adult novel, The Chosen. When I first read The Chosen in tenth grade, it brought on a series of mixed emotions. I was beginning the journey toward understanding my religious and secular identities, and simultaneously saw so much and so little of myself in the protagonists, Reuven and Danny.

Agree to Disagree

My brother-in-law, Alex, is incredibly smart. He’s a Harvard-educated banker in his early thirties, and he genuinely loves to debate. His style of debate isn’t to make other people feel stupid, but it’s clear that he loves feeling like he has changed someone’s mind or broadened their perspective. I’ve realized, through many conversations with him, that this is something with which I struggle.

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.

The Inspiring, The Messy, and The Author of Both

Bildungsroman: the German word for a coming-of-age novel. A prime example of this? Judy Blume's Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret. Beloved by angsty teens and middle-aged women’s book clubs alike, Judy Blume seems to have completely mastered the art of coming of age in fiction.

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.

Ellen Umansky

In her debut novel, Ellen Umansky emphasizes the evolving legacy of the Holocaust and the power of grappling with the past to better understand the present.

Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman centers her acclaimed novels and short stories on deep, nuanced depictions of Jewish characters and Jewish families grappling with the problems of the larger world.

Ruth Calderon

As a Talmud scholar and a member of the progressive Israeli political party Yesh Atid, Ruth Calderon has sought to break down the traditional divide in Israeli society between right-wing Orthodoxy and secular liberalism.

Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish’s fiction focuses on the ways Jewish women struggle to fulfill their longings and dreams despite the limitations of the times and places in which they live.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Fiction." (Viewed on August 16, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/fiction>.

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