In the inaugural installment of “Reading With Roiphe,” Anne Roiphe delves into the layers of complexity in Bernard Malamud’s classic 1959 “The Magic Barrel,” in which traditional and modern notions of love collide.
Everyone says we are The People of the Book. This is true enough, and rather comforting, but we are also The People of the story. From the beginning we have told tales, short tales, of what is and what was and who hated whom and why, who loved whom when perhaps they shouldn’t. (Oh, poor flawed King David). We knitted our stories together into scrolls and scriptures and serious-sounding texts, but we never forgot the characters or the plots. In addition, we had variations in the Midrash, delicious tales of Rebecca falling off her camel and losing her virginity on a prickly bush, or Abraham smashing his father’s idols. We have stories of magic prophets, fables of marauding Cossacks and tales of jealous sisters, each with something the other didn’t have.
As more than half of America’s governors vow to keep Syrian refugees out, Anne Roiphe says it’s our Jewish responsibility to show the country another way.
With midterm elections coming up, Jews will likely vote Democratic again in disproportionate numbers. Anne Roiphe explores the reasons for this phenomenon.
CHAPTER 64: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND In Chapter 63, Ruth and Augusta exchanged confidences over cocktails. Brooke had an appointment with a divorce lawyer, an old law school classmate of Jacob’s, and she wanted a serious outfit, perhaps a gray suit with a white satin blouse, for their first
gotta go now.” Ina heard something in her mother’s voice, a catch, a rasp, a whisper of a plea, an unsaid word that left an echo in the phone line. “Mother,” Ina asked, “ do you remember how we used to play gin rummy when we rented that beach house the summer I was 8 and how you always let me win?” “I do,” said Ruth, thinking
In Chapter 56, Neil took his own life by the side of the road. Moe Alter was staring at his computer. On the screen was an e-mail from the polling firm he had hired with funds from the Mayor’s last campaign. The Mayor’s radio speech was corny. But then the Mayor was corny, and the people of the city loved corn. It had worked. The poll