Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Being Jewish also meant that one was part of a global, diasporic community, and that to understand this was to feel the bonds of community with people leading vastly different lives from one’s own.

Source: Esther Schor, Emma Lazarus

From My Archive: “Rio, 1946”

There’s a lot of discussion these days about immigration, and immigrants, and the specter of being considered a “public charge.” It’s been a little difficult for me to engage in this discourse, and for the most part, I haven’t. Each time another article or news clip or tweet comes to my attention, I think back to one of my grandmother’s most poignant stories, about her post-World War II efforts—as a recent immigrant and newly-naturalized American citizen herself—to bring her parents from Rio de Janeiro, where they had found refuge from their native Germany in 1940, to join her and her new husband and baby (my father) in New York. Her story is the “real-life” source for this short piece of fiction, which was published a number of years ago by The Pedestal Magazine.

(more…)

21st-Century Jewish Literature: A Glimpse into My Syllabus

Collage of three book covers: THE MAN IN THE WHITE SHARKSKIN SUIT by Lucette Lagnado; THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by Philip Roth; and LETTERS TO MY PALESTINIAN NEIGHBOR by Yossi Klein Halevi.

A number of you have asked for details about the syllabus I’ve been working on for my upcoming undergraduate course on “21st-Century Jewish Literature.” Suffice to say that I’ve spent a lot of time this summer preparing for this class. (And with just two weeks to go before the first class meeting, I’m not done yet!)

Mindful of a number of factors—including the cost of book purchases—I’ve worked hard to feature among these readings plenty of materials that are freely available online and/or via databases accessible to all of my students. We’ll be reading lots of essays, short stories, poems, and excerpts from longer works. I’m asking that students obtain for themselves only three titles—those pictured above, by Lucette Lagnado, Philip Roth, and Yossi Klein Halevi (all three of those books are available in paperback and e-book format, with copies also available through our university and local public libraries).

Below are the names of the other authors (and translators) of texts featured on the syllabus. (Not cited here: the authors of supplementary secondary readings.)

(more…)

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

Background of a keyboard, mug of coffee, and wallet on a tabletop; text label indicating "Markets and Jobs for Writers: No fees to submit work/apply. Paying gigs only."

The weekly batch of no-fee, paying competitions, contests, and calls for submissions—plus jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). These posts are intended to complement/supplement monthly issues of The Practicing Writer newsletter, where you’ll always find more listings, none of them limiting eligibility to residents of a single municipality, state, or province (this blog, on the other hand, does sometimes include those more restricted opportunities).

(more…)