Monthly Archives: July 2009

A flower of Ashkenazi frizz

In her last blogs, Joanna Smith Rakoff wrote about some of her favorite books.
In the months preceding its publication, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s Admission received more than its share of tabloid-style hype, all of which focused on, let’s say, the nonfiction aspect of the novel: the glimpse Korelitz offers of the Ivy League admissions process, a subject of rabid fascination for the American middle class. Continue reading here.

Tisha B’Av Reading…

Posted by Naomi Firestone

Well first, what IS Tisha B’Av…continue reading here.

Joanna Smith Rakoff: The Smell of Old England

In her last blog, Joanna Smith Rakoff wrote about a family “more identifiably old American than Jewish.”
Here in the U.S., Margaret Drabble’s novels are nowhere near as widely read as those of her older sister, A.S. Byatt, perhaps because they, to a one, seek to explore -– or, perhaps, “interrogate” might be a better word — contemporary British society, in rather the same way Philip Roth probes the uncomfortable corners of the American psyche.  Continue reading here.

Joanna Smith Rakoff: Parallel Lives

In her last blog, Joanna Smith Rakoff wrote about how, in her own way, Jane Austen wrote about being an undercover Jewish writer.

Laurie Colwin
was, in a way, a sort of heir to Austen’s charms, even if her novels are the opposite of marriage plots: Her female characters struggle endlessly with the confines and meaning of contemporary marriage (contemporary, that is, circa the 1970s and 1980s; Colwin died, at 48, in 1992).  Continue reading here.

From the Blogosphere…

Posted by Naomi Firestone
Matthue Roth of MyJewishLearning interviews David Berman (former lead singer of the Silver Jews)…continue reading here.