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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes Paperback – April 15, 2006

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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes + 'Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America + Jewish on Their Own Terms: How Intermarried Couples are Changing American Judaism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (April 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933368241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933368245
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This anthology of 18 essays takes for granted that Jews will intermarry, and that the children of intermarriages will be "halfs," or half-Jews. Being a half, says Snyder, is not second best; it is not a pale imitation of being really Jewish. Rather, "half" is an interesting, incorrigible, perplexing and profound moniker in its own right, a label that somehow captures the existential angst that all people experience. Read cover to cover, the anthology begins to feel suffocating in its predictability—smart folks reflecting smartly about their struggles with identity. But many of the individual essays are engaging, funny and provocative. Dena Katzen Seidel describes, in a strikingly detached tone, the emotional abuses doled out by her flaky mother, a Christian Scientist. Novelist Thisbe Nissen explains that every New Yorker is a little bit Jewish, while Renée Kaplan observes that the only deal her mismatched parents ever made and kept was the agreement to raise the kids Jewish. "My half-Jewishness is a memento of that short-lived moment of concord between the two," she muses with a touch of melancholy. Half-Jews will see themselves and their families in this book, and they will laugh, and maybe even cry, while reading. (Apr.)
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Snyder has assembled an impressive spiritual, personal and witty array of narratives on growing up half Jewish. -- CURVE Magazine

[E]ngaging, funny and provocative…Half-Jews will see themselves and their families...and they will laugh, and maybe even cry, while reading. -- Publishers Weekly

[F]ull of wit, emotion, and intelligence... -- IMAGE Journal

More About the Author

I've been writing pretty devotedly, in one form or fashion, since I was about seven. In the fourth grade, I announced to the world that I planned to become "rich and famous writing books and plays for children!" Then I intended to adopt every stray dog and cat in the city of Baltimore and move them all into an old mansion, not far from where I lived.

Well, I'm not rich by any means, I live in a rather small brick house, and I only have one cat, but I am (blessedly) writing books for kids, and I couldn't be more amazed or delighted.

Most days I spend with my sons (who are tiny) smeared with peanut butter, finger paint, and silly joy. But late at night, I write these books... and I hope you'll read one...

And if you like that book, (or even if you don't) I hope you'll write to me, and say hello!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gerald L. Sorokin on July 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays--by a talented group of writers--confronts the big hidden question of the Jewish community: if you're not entirely Jewish, what's your status? With humor, irony, and some deep insights into the nature of community and self, Snyder and the other authors open our eyes to the richness of Half/Life--a status that's not less than Jewish, but different from Jewish. Unless the Jewish community understands that identity, it will lose the connection with this growing segment of the population.
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By Hunter on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
funny & entertaining. many essays are well written, interesting and engaging but this book fails to give me an better understanding of half-jewish or multi-ethnically-jewish people.
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