Author Archive

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.

The Mother of All Fears

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This week, I reread Alexandra Kleeman’s short story “Choking Victim”. I had first read it when it was published in The New Yorker in May 2016, when I was spending most of my days at home with a mysterious newborn.

Band of Mothers

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A few days before my son was born, my parents and sister came to Princeton, where my husband and I lived at the time, to witness the birth. They had found a sublet a few blocks away from our apartment, but my mother wanted to spend the first few

Bruno Schulz and a Mother’s Tough Love

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Like many things in my life, the writer Bruno Schulz is an example of how I used to focus on men. Men’s troubles, men’s heartache, men’s surprising capacity for emotion. The sight of a man crying would put me in a state.

Elisa Albert’s After Birth and Getting My Body Back

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Why did nobody tell me it would be this way? Elisa Albert’s narrator, Ari, seems to be asking throughout the novel After Birth. And why is no one around to help me through it now?

Don’t (Never) Change: On Holding On and Letting Go

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Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve been aware of my inability to maintain a daily journal. Upon the birth of my child, when my life was instantly transformed and everyone around urged me to savor it, this shortcoming became ever more pernicious.

Rachel Cusk and the Unbearable Lightness of Being

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When I was pregnant, I felt for the first time in my life that I came first. Suddenly, my needs and desires weren’t mere whims; in the gestation of another being, they mattered tremendously. When this being was extracted from my body, I still felt it crucial to put