My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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about a review

Sometimes a blog is for rambling discursions about the beauty of gardens, and sometimes, for spewing venom.  Yes, venom – well, as much venom as I am capable of producing, which is more than I’d like.  To bring you up to date with the adventures of my book, I’ve been waiting for a long promised review from New York’s “the Forward,” one of the most important Jewish newspapers in the world.  Ironically, it’s the paper that my great-grandfather’s deadly enemy, Abraham Cahan, edited for more than fifty years.  My fantasy, of course, was that the review would cause many new readers to clamour for the book.  

At last, the other day, the review of my book and of Gordin’s recently translated “The Jewish King Lear” appeared, written by a Yiddish studies academic.  I’m happy to tell you that he did an extraordinary job of delving deeply into the book, pointing out its strengths and, yes, its weaknesses, exploring the various aspects of Gordin’s life, Jewish life, the trials of new immigrants and the Yiddish theatre itself dealt with in the book’s more than 300 pages, finishing with a generous and resounding …
Oh stop.  Not.  In a nine paragraph review, half of one paragraph mentions my book, and at that is simply about the attitude that I, as a family member, take towards Gordin.  A kind of damning with the faintest of praise.  Other paragraphs deal with the play and interesting academic aspects of translation, and the rest is rambling discursion and anecdotes. 
Yes, for a minute or two, or perhaps a bit more, I was discouraged.  Not long ago, another article in an important Jewish magazine discussed at length the recent translation of Gordin’s play, quoting from my book without mentioning it at all.  If I were a paranoid person, I would think there is some plot to keep this wonderful book unread and ignored.  But I am a sunny person with a beautiful garden, who will simply put this aside and move right along.  He didn’t say he hated it, after all.  You can’t always get what you want.  
I will go and plant some tomatoes.  Not to throw.  To eat.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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