Author Archive

Saar Yachin, Ethan Nichtern, and the Poetry of Instability

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“Ewer Toccata” depicts the surprise that Saar Yachin—a poet, translator, and musician—experienced when he moved to the desert town of Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel and was hit by divine inspiration. “I went to the desert to find quiet,” he writes. “Boom! Ewers of poetry.”

There Are Children at the Border

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An old poem by Yehuda Amichai, published in the collection Love Poems, seems more pertinent than ever to me, reading it as the elegy of a parent to their lost child.

Under His Eye: On The Little Clan by Iris Martin Cohen

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The world of Ava Gallanter, the protagonist of Iris Martin Cohen’s debut novel, is very small. It consists of the library, hallways, and apartments of the Lazarus Club, a prestigious private members club where she works as a librarian. It is the world of Dead White Men.

Loss of Meaning

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One very early morning, during an especially harrowing walk through icy winds and freezing puddles on the road from Auschwitz to a work site, prisoner Viktor Frankl lost himself in thoughts of his wife.

Hillary Clinton, The Orator, and the Body

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Magi Otsri's new book is an intoxicating exploration of women between the ages of twenty and fifty, the ways they see the world and build it with every choice they make, and the different ways in which they bleed.

Showing Up; or, Passing “Thirty Under Thirty” Eligibility

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In Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer had tapped into that well of invisible truth, while I—an aspiring writer struggling to sit my ass long enough in a chair to produce anything at all—could only hope to scratch the surface.

Man on Trial

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In David Grossman’s award-winning novel A Horse Walks into a Bar, the narrator, a retired judge, describes one night in the life of the protagonist, Dovaleh, a stand-up comedian in his late fifties and his lost childhood friend.

Judaism in “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” and “Ask for a Convertible”

How does one raise a child to be culturally Jewish, to speak Hebrew and find meaning in the familial and ritualistic aspects of the holidays, without going to synagogue, fasting, or talking about Hashem? How can we explain to our son that he can be American but also Israeli?

For the Love of Boys

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I don’t pretend to understand Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts. The materials she has read, the level of her intellectual thinking, as well as the life she leads—and conveys in this memoir—are several levels of complexity and depth beyond what I can comfortably claim to know.

A Mother’s Work and Rachel Sherman’s Uneasy Street: the Anxieties of Affluence

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Spending less time working and more time with our children was a choice that was entirely in our control. We realized that most people didn’t have a choice—they either went back to work quickly after their children were born or quit their jobs in favor of full-time parenthood.