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

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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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Review

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
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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: 6 x 0.5 x 9 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: #1,787,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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