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Not Not a Jew

Unimagined

I was attending a small liberal arts college just outside of Mexico City on the Taluca Road overlooking Popocatépetl volcano under which Malcolm Lowry’s hero drinks himself to death. I was nineteen. I’d missed my bus back to the city after class that day so I stuck out my thumb to hitchhike and was picked up by two good looking(…)

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Conversions, from and to

Anticipation still building as Not Not a Jew publication perches on the horizon. Am pleased by reader interest in the subject of Jewish non-Jews and non-Jewish Jews, a many-sided-diamond. There’s the subtle variety of not nots, like the folks soon to be introduced in the new novella. Of course there are also less conflicted varieties, actual Jewish converts, like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn(…)

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A not Jewish Jew

  Inching toward the publication date of Not Not a Jew, I chanced on Oliver Sacks’ moving piece titled “Sabbath” in the NYTimes. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in London’s Cricklewood, Oliver Sacks became estranged from his religion and broke away entirely because of it’s (and his mother’s) aberrance toward his homosexuality. Much like Not Not a Jew‘s Eli, Vera and their son, Ira,(…)

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A second tasting

Another bite from my upcoming work NOT NOT A JEW, A NOVELLA IN VERSTS [fromPart II, “Long Day’s Journey into Day” when the ne’er-do-well son (Ira) returns to his parent’s (Vera and Eli’s) home after many years adrift (chasing food and sex) to try to be of some use at their life’s end…. At the stile, the official eyed Ira with(…)

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A day out with Alison

Today I had the pleasure of spending time with my favorite author, Alison Leslie Gold. We started out by shooting a Book Trailer for Alison’s upcoming novella Not Not a Jew. I set up my iPhone 6 with a lavaliere mike at a table in Brooklyn Bagels on 8th Ave, while Alison went to grab the most jewish bagel she(…)

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Vera and Eli

Ira’s father, Eli, is an old surrealist painter. The mother, Vera, an accountant. Their home, a Mediterranean-style landscape… Is it Israel? Greece? Southern California? The reader can’t be sure. Issues of multinationalism rear up as well. Ira returns home after a long absence to offer assistance to these two decrepit people. Because he’s experienced by(…)

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Ira

My post-diasporic Everyman has been renamed Ira for the purposes of this pending publication of Not Not a Jew. He has not undergone any specific moment of revelation or trauma. Inadvertently, he begins to confront his own lack of specific belonging through an encounter with his aging parents who are unsettled survivors of the displacements(…)

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Yes, a Novel in Verst

The known seeds of my own story were sown more than a hundred years ago in Old Russia.  Then, verst by verst, from four different directions (see photos below: paternal great grandfather, paternal great grandmother) these seeds blew from east to west. A verst is a Russian measure of distance – Russian Verstá. Slavic “virsta” – literally, to turn, to bend. Verst by(…)

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