Memoirs

Content type
Collection
Cover of Uncultured book and co-authors of book

During Shmita, Finally Learning to Let Go

Brandi Larsen

In the year after co-writing a memoir, also the year of shmita, I learned how to let go of my failures and begin anew. 

Roz Chast

One of New York’s most distinct Jewish cultural voices, Roz Chast is most famous for her New Yorker cartoons over the past four decades. Her works range from whimsical, irreverent, and quirky to poignant and heartbreaking, and she is widely considered one of the most comically ingenious and satirically edgy visual interpreters of everyday life.

Episode 75: Eleanor Reissa's Invisible Birthmark

After a career spent telling other people's stories, Eleanor Reissa has finally uncovered her own. It started with 56 letters she found in a drawer while cleaning out her late mother's apartment. They were letters from her father to her mother, just a few years after they had both survived World War II. The letters sent Eleanor on a search to retrace her family history in Europe, which she chronicles in her new memoir, The Letters Project: A Daughter's Journey. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous talks with Eleanor about how her life has been defined by being the daughter of people who lived through the Holocaust.

Photo of Riva Lehrer on left and cover of her book Golem Girl on right

Interview with Riva Lehrer, Artist and Author of "Golem Girl"

Jen Richler

JWA talks to artist Riva Lehrer about her recent memoir, Golem Girl, and the way her disabled, queer, and Jewish identities intersect.

Roya Hakakian’s First book, "Journey from the Land of No", is Published

August 1, 2004

Author and poet Roya Hakakian was born in Tehran in 1966 and fled Iran with her family in 1985, seeking asylum in the United States. Hakakian is the author of two collections of Persian poetry, an acclaimed memoir, and essays on Iranian issues.

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is one of America’s most loved and successful comedians. Her career is built on a true riches-to-rags-to-riches story and is firmly centered on growing up in an unconventional Jewish upbringing.

Aurora Levins Morales

Aurora Levins Morales is an author, artist, activist, and historian whose work as been critical to third-wave feminism, Puerto Rican and Latinx feminism, disability justice, radical Judaism, climate change activism, and grassroots. organizing.

Marissa Miller and book cover

Marissa Miller Says Being Weird Is Good

Julia Métraux

JWA talks to Marissa Miller, author of new book Pretty Weird.

Topics: Memoirs

Alix Kates Shulman

Alix Kates Shulman is a radical feminist writer and activist and a leader in the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s through 1980s.  She is best known as the author of “The Marriage Agreement” (1970) and the best-selling Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), which was heralded as the “first important novel of the Women’s Liberation movement.” She was honored with a Clara Lemlich Award for a lifetime of social activism in 2018.

Ruth Behar

Award-winning cultural anthropologist Ruth Behar has conducted groundbreaking research in Spain, Mexico, and her native Cuba. Her innovations in cultural representation have transformed ethnographic writing and reached a broad, non-academic audience through her film, poetry, personal essays, and young adult fiction.

Marjorie Agosín

Marjorie Agosín is an award-winning Chilean Jewish poet, memoirist, novelist, literary critic, editor, educator, and human rights activist. Her work, which she writes in Spanish, is widely translated into English and other languages. She is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Wellesley College.

Myriam Moscona

Myriam Moscona is a Sephardic Mexican poet, novelist, journalist, and translator. She is the author of Tela de sevoya/ Onioncloth, an award-wining novel about the Sephardic experience, reflecting on death and Ladino, and Ansina (Like that, 2015), a book of poetry entirely written in Judeo-Spanish.

Alejandra Pizarnik

With a vast body of work that includes books of poetry, prose works, essays, and diaries, Alejandra Pizarnik (Argentina, 1936-1972) stands out as one of the most important and influential figures in twentieth-century Latin American poetry.

Pauline Podbrey

Pauline Podbrey was a committed Communist and anti-Apartheid activist. A Lithuanian child migrant to South Africa, she moved away from her Jewish roots and endured exile as a result of her mixed-race marriage, only to become disillusioned with Communism.

Erica Jong

Erica Jong is an American writer most famous for her bestselling novel Fear of Flying (1973). Sometimes controversial in her role as a media celebrity, Jong has published novels, poetry collections, memoirs, works of literary criticism, and literary anthologies, most often focusing on the explicit expression of women’s sexuality and neglected or untold stories of contemporary and historical women.

Miriam Katin

Miriam Katin is an award-winning comics artist best known for her Holocaust memoir We Are On Our Own. She was born in Hungary and now lives in New York City with her husband, Geoffrey Katin, a music educator.

Carolivia Herron

Carolivia Herron is a retired professor, children’s book author, novelist, and librettist who lives in Washington, D.C., and works with the Epicentering the National Mall Coalition. Much of her work traces patterns of shared trauma and convergence between Blackness and Jewishness, from the late fifteenth-century Jewish expulsions from Spain and Portugal, to the Atlantic slave trade, to the Holocaust and contemporary racism and antisemitism.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb

Aline Kominsky-Crumb was a pioneer of the autobiographical comics genre and a leading figure in the feminist underground comics movement. Her career as a cartoonist began in 1972, when she joined the Wimmen’s Comix collective in San Francisco and published her first comic Goldie. A Neurotic Women. She went on to author, publish and co-edit several books and magazines, including the comics anthology Love That Bunch (1990), and the graphic Memoir Need More Love (2007).

Susan Stamberg

Susan Stamberg, the first full-time woman anchor of a national nightly news broadcast, played an important role in making National Public Radio (NPR) a news organization that offered pioneering opportunities to women journalists. Her half-century career at NPR opened the way for other women by demonstrating competence, originality, and compassion in reporting and interviewing. 

Nan Goldin

Starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin used her camera to document her own life and that of her friends, her alternative family. Her pictures revealed intimacy and violence, love and abuse, sexuality and addiction, in the downtown punk scene of New York in the 1980s, a world subsequently devastated by AIDS. She adopted a slide show format to be a mirror to her friends, and ended up mirroring their lives to the outside world.

Elizabeth Swados

Elizabeth (Liz) Swados was an American composer, writer, and theatrical director. Best known for her 1978 Broadway musical, Runaways, Swados created a diverse body of work that included novels, poetry, plays, music, and musicals.

Twenty-First Century Jewish Literature by Women in the US

Twenty-first-century Jewish women’s writing in the United States is wide-ranging in genre and topic. In this body of literature, we can find insightful and nuanced stories of contemporary American life as well as fiction that delves into lost or forgotten Jewish histories. From a female Spinoza to a female golem, a strong feminist ethic is pervasive in these writings.

Jamaica Kincaid

Born Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson, Jamaica Kincaid is a Jewish Afro-Caribbean author. She was sent to the United States from her birthplace in Antigua at the age of sixteen and became a writer while living in the United States.

Judith Katzir

Yehudit Katzir (b. 1963) is an Israeli author who emerged as a leading female voice in what had been a male-dominated literary field until the 1980s. Her novels and short stories are noted for their idiosyncratic and lyrical language, as well as their focus on female identity and treatment of taboo themes.

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