Safe in America
1. The Diary of Anne Frank, because its writer was still a young girl and showed this safe. American Jew a different, horrendous world of the persecuted Jew. I also loved Anne’s honesty about her sexuality.
2. Little Women, because Jo was a strong woman and a writer—which I longed to be—while considered a misfit, which I felt was (as an intelligent girl and part of a tiny Jewish minority in town).
3. The Israeli-Jewish Jordana in Uris’ Exodus, because of her courage and warm sexuality.
Paula J. Caplan is a psychologist, actor and playwright. Her hooks include Don’t Blame Mother, The Myth of Woman’s Masochism, and They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal, on which she has based her first play.