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Nice Jewish Girls: Growing Up in America

by Marks, Marlene Adler E

  • ISBN: 9780452273979
  • ISBN10: 0452273978

Nice Jewish Girls: Growing Up in America

by Marks, Marlene Adler E

  • List Price: $20.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Plume Books
  • Publish date: 04/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780452273979
  • ISBN10: 0452273978
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Description: "Stimulating... 40 contemporary women writers discuss the coming-of-age experience of the Jewish girl as she discovers who she is and how she got that way through family, community, and spiritual channels. Marks has gathered essays that allow Judaism to be viewed as much as an attitude toward life as a prescription of faith. While similar anthologies have dwelled on the bitterness Jewish women have felt because of their second-class status, this volume moves on to ask what it is that makes a young woman a Jew. The stories range from the tragic to the humorous, as in Alexandra J. Wall's 'The Way We Were,' in which a young woman calls on Barbra Streisand to help her accept the physical facts of life. It is never too late to have a coming-of-age experience, as in Letty Cottin Pogrebin's 'I Don't Like To Write About My Father.' While nearly every Jewish female reader will find herself reflected here, the poignancy of these stories will be felt by readers of all ethnicities."-- Library Journal "Permeating a number of the pieces is a sense of being 'other,' whether it's as a Jew in a Christian society (e.g., Kathryn Hellerstein's prep-school bout with the Christmas Chorale) or in one's alienation from tradition or other Jews (e.g., Shira Dicker's tale of a child taunted for belonging to the 'wrong' shul). Among the best of this literary congregation of excerpts, reprints and original pieces are Allegra Goodman's fictional account of a woman's far-flung geographic and spiritual journeys; Teresa Weisberg's oral history of a ludicrous wedding during the Depression; Karen Bender's reverie about being inside the Ark with the Torahs; and familiar excerpts by Laura Cunningham, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Vivian Gornick."-- Publishers Weekly "Troublesome body hair and 'the curse of a funny nose' figure prominently in this rich anthology of short fiction, personal essays and poems about life as a Jewish girl in America. But this is more than a mere catalog of teenage-female crises--after all, its 40 writers grew up a generation after the Holocaust. Aside from the effects of that central trauma, it also deals with such dilemmas as: interaction with the other--both the non-Jewish boyfriend at Christmas time, and the Orthodox childhood friend whose 'small and crowded' apartment reeks of 'meat cooking and garlic'; the conflict with patriarchal Judaism; and the Diaspora-Israel pull, which leads one woman to choose the former, 'because it made no demands on her.' Still, some of the most memorable pieces are humorous, among them Karen Golden's 'Big White Pushka,' about a young girl who identifies a tampon dispenser in the Hebrew school bathroom as a gift-giving tzedakah box."-- The Jerusalem Report
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