JEWISH AMERICAN WOMEN WRITERS: A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCEBOOK by Ann Shapiro, Sara Horowitz, Ellen Schiff and Miriyam Glazer [Greenwood Press], $89.50 (yes, it’s expensive)
Move over Roth, Malamud, and Bellow with your literary falsifications of the Jewish American experience. Here we have a “who’s who” of American Jewish female novelists, poets and playwrights that fails to mention: Mrs. Portnoys, Brenda Patimkins, searches for “the ultimate shiksa,” or Rothian pronunciamentos such as (from The Counterlife), “Circumcision confirms that there is an us.”
A “who’s who” of Jewish American women writers can only mean that we’ve come of age. This highly readable guide to the life and work of 57 people—including Kim Chernin, Edna Ferber, Emma Lazarus, Rebecca Goldstein, Lillian Hellman, Gertrude Stein, Erica Jong, Susan Sontag, Tova Reich, Robin Morgan, Leslea Newman, Andrea Dworkin—is just plain exciting. Kudos.