The Lilith Blog

The Lilith Blog

April 29, 2020 by

When Home is Not a Shelter

Looking at me, you wouldn’t have guessed. I was a smart, outgoing, well-nourished, girl from a secular Jewish home, a top student at the school where I never missed a day. 

I was also a battered child.

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The Lilith Blog

April 27, 2020 by

Abortion Under Threat: What You Need to Know

While many of us are at home, anti-choice politicians and their supporters are exploiting the anxiety around COVID-19 by attacking access to abortion rights. (Here’s a great graphic from NARAL Iowa depicting the intersection between the politicians who tried to ban abortion in 2019 and those trying to do so now.) 

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The Lilith Blog

April 25, 2020 by

Beyond the Ghetto Gates: The Liberation of Jews in Italy

In the late 18 century, French troops invaded the Italian port city of Ancona, liberating the Jews from the ghetto where they’d been forced to live. This new freedom had consequences both cultural and personal. Novelist Michelle Cameron’s Beyond the Ghetto Gates (She Writes Press, $16.95) is set in this bracing moment and she talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about why she chose this particular time and what she hopes her readers will learn from it. 

Yona Zeldis McDonough: You selected an atypical chapter in Jewish history on which to focus; what drew you to it? 

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The Lilith Blog

April 24, 2020 by

A Nanny Reflects on the Pandemic and the U.S. Labor System

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and I am sitting on the couch, in my PJs. I should be walking to the elementary school; pick-up is at 2:40. But everything is different now.

I work part-time as a nanny, and like many of the jobs that comprise the so-called “gig economy” and the domestic workforce, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought my work to a screeching halt. 

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The Lilith Blog

April 23, 2020 by

Mourning During a Period of Self-Isolation

My online college class was interrupted with three missed calls from my father, two from my mother, and a supplemental set of urgent texts saying “call me ASAP.”

I knew without even calling back that my maternal grandmother had passed. I called my parents to see when I would have to fly to Houston to attend the funeral. I had just been kicked out of school because of the coronavirus and wanted to make sure I had all I’d need to continue my schooling from Houston, where my grandmother had been living. 

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The Lilith Blog

April 23, 2020 by

A New Translation of a Yiddish Comic Gem

If you crossed Helen’s Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary with Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, you might end up with Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle Against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, $19.95) written by the Yiddish writer Miriam Karpilove and recently translated by Jessica Kirzane. Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough talks to Kirzane about how she stumbled upon this singular writer and why her work still matters today. 

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The Lilith Blog

April 22, 2020 by

Sexual Health During the Pandemic: An Expert Speaks

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of chatting with Dr. Jessica Grossman, the CEO of Medicines360, a unique, medtech nonprofit that works to close the inequity gap for women in the medical system. Dr. Grossman and her company do vital work year-round, to help make sure women across the globe can access reproductive medicines, such as treatments for fibroids and Liletta, a brand of IUD, of Medicines360, she and her company have been able to provide over half a million IUDS to women, a third of whom are low-income or relying on safety-net clinics.

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April 20, 2020 by

Dayenu: Dispatches From the Covid Sick Ward

The Week Before

Washington, DC is beginning to shut down and our two adult daughters want to come home—one from Iowa and one from Boston. First Daughter owns a car [Dayenu], and can drive from Iowa City, where she’s in graduate school, but she has obligations in Iowa, along with legitimate concerns that there may be nowhere that she can stay along the way. Second Daughter is already working remotely [Dayenu, she has a job] because Massachusetts is under an emergency decree.

By the end of the week, they are here; First Daughter has driven, and Second Daughter has flown in.

Day 1

Second Daughter wakes up, does not feel well. Has shortness of breath and tightness in her chest. She’s 25 and is otherwise—[Dayenu]—in good health. 

We call our doctor, who says to isolate her immediately, “Lock her up, do the deepest clean possible, and leave food outside her door as needed.”

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The Lilith Blog

April 15, 2020 by

An Imaginary Quarter of a Food-Obsessed City

Consider the Feast (Open Books, $19.95) offers a wild ride through an imaginary quarter of a food-obsessed city.  Debut novelist Carmit Delman talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about how food becomes both marker and symbol for the haves and the have nots.

Yona Zeldis McDonough: Like your protagonist,Talia, you have a background that’s both Indian and Israeli. Can you describe growing up within those two cultures? 

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The Lilith Blog

April 15, 2020 by

Unorthodox on Netflix: A Review

Well, Berlin seems nice. It’s the kind of place, apparently, where you can land from an international flight, stop in a hipster coffee shop with just the clothes on your back and some cash from your pawned valuables, and find yourself hitching a ride to the beach with a brand-new group of delightful diverse international friends who are falling all over themselves to help you out.  That’s lovely for just about anyone; it’s amazing if you happen to also be running away from an unhappy marriage in a cloistered religious community who almost certainly sent someone to track you down. And it’s even better that these new friends are all students at the local conservatory, and you just happen to be a secret classical musical lover who has had to repress her talent in that self-same cloistered religious community.

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