Among those of us who have been traveling in her wake for decades, she was and is a model of how to live, as well as how to write, courageously and sanely, with artistic craft and generosity, out of a profound love of our shared life.
After a highly successful decade as the lead on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert defied the odds for child actors by becoming a Hollywood power-broker as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–2005.
In hopes of creating a place where neither her religion nor her gender would make her a second-class citizen, Sara Azaryahu dedicated herself to founding a Jewish state, but was disappointed by the sexism that remained in her society.
In her most famous book, Black, Jewish and Interracial: It’s Not the Color of Your Skin but the Race of Your Kin and Other Myths of Identity, anthropologist Katya Gibel Mevorach (nee Azoulay) explored identity politics, “passing” as white, and other social constructs of race.
“Sarah B. Smith is the most beloved Jewish newspaperwoman, the first who ever served as a reporter on a Jewish paper, and the one who has triumphantly overcome the misgivings of editors who mistrusted the abilities of a mere woman writer.”
In November, 2009, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen titled his column “A Jew in England.” It describes his time as a student during the late 1960’s at Westminster, a leading British private school. Cohen related being “occasionally taunted as a ‘Yid’—not a bad way to forge a proud Jewish identity as a nonreligious Jew.” Five years later, he devoted an essay to his mother’s treatment for depression in an English sanatorium: “My mother was a woman hollowed out like a tree struck by lightning. I wanted to know why.”
Aline Kominsky-Crumb helped reshape the role of women in comics with autobiographical stories that challenged both the conventional image of women as trophies and the feminist image of women as idealized heroines.
Chances are, no two people reading this post have the same favorite book. From month to month, I don’t even have the same favorite book—my tastes range from nonfiction crime thrillers to mid-century poetry, and hit quite a few unusual notes in between. I seek out novels I can get lost in. I like all kinds of mythology and the occasional graphic novel. Choosing what to read next can be overwhelming and generally, I need a little guidance.