Posts Tagged: literature Results 12
It’s neat, in a way, that Elena Ferrante’s Jewish. Well, not Ferrante—the author behind the pseudonym. Anita Raja, the Italian translator whom Claudio Gatti has convincingly argued is Elena Ferrante, is, as Gatti recently explained in detail in the New York Review of Books, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Whether we think it’s terrible that Ferrante’s identity has been revealed, or sort of OK, what’s known is known. Raja is Jewish, at least by some definitions. Which is neat in the time-honored Jewish tradition (and every-group tradition) of noting whenever an impressive person shares our heritage. But there’s something particularly special about the author behind Ferrante being a Jewish woman.
Regina Kolitz // Copyright Forward Association
If you’ve been anywhere near a Canadian newspaper or news website in the last week, then you’ll know that a scandal involving author and English professor David Gilmour has been dominating the headlines. The dustup is in response to remarks Gilmour made discounting Canadian, women and minority writers.
It’s no surprise to voracious readers of female-authored fiction that the magical realism genre has flourished by the pens of the fairer sex. Readers with some enthusiasm for the genre may associate it with women of color in particular. For example, there’s Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel, following in the Latin American tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Alice Walker and Toni Morrison incorporating folklore into African-American fiction.
It isn’t hard to think of Jewish men who weave mysticism and fantasy into their works, either — Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jonathan Safran Foer, Bernard Malamud and Franz Kafka. But the Jewish women of this genre are not as well known, though they are certainly present. Jewish studies and comparative literature students — you’ve got an enormous body of work to sift through from around the world to create compelling academic theses, and for everyone else, there’s a place on the couch waiting for us to curl up with one of these fabulous stories.
Like many Americans, particularly those who share my gender, I’ve spent a good deal of my spring and summer immersed in new books by (and mostly for) women. But I want to take a break from buzzing about the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the creepy thriller “Gone Girl” to talk about two other notable books of the year. Because Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild” and Caitlin Moran memoir-meets-manifesto “How to Be a Woman” are both gifts to literature and feminism.