A Moment of Jen
THE NEXT BEST THING — In Stores July 3rd!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
posted by Jen at 6/27/2012 12:25:00 PM

The week before your book comes out is always equal parts excitement and stress…and this week’s been especially difficult.

On Monday, Tablet Magazine published a piece attacking my books and heroines for being insufficiently Jewish. Basically (and you have to understand, the article was so unkind -- it ended by comparing me to Alex Portnoy’s baton-twirling dim-bulb of a girlfriend -- that I kind of skimmed it with one eye open), the author’s assertion is that I’m whitewashing (goy-washing?) my characters to make them more palatable for a non-Jewish audience.


I don’t think that’s the case.

If I wanted to attract a mainstream, non-Jewish audience, why have Jewish characters and Jewish holidays and Jewish situations at all? Why include bat mitzvahs, Chanukah latkes and shiva calls? If I’m doing it on purpose, why not go all the way?

The characters I write are just as Jewish as I am. I was raised Reform, I consider myself observant, and I just cringe at the notion that I’m being a bad Jew by writing characters who aren’t Jewish enough for Tablet’s taste.

I can’t do anything but be true to myself, to my own experiences, and to the stories I want to tell and the women I want to talk about.

On Monday, I sulked. “Shiksa lit?” Seriously? (A shiksa, for the uninformed, is a more-than-slightly-derogatory term for a non-Jewish woman: as in, “Oy! Adam Sandler! I loved him, until he married that shiksa!”)

On Tuesday, I decided, in the grand Jewish tradition, to rap.

“I’m Jew-y as Bette Midler/Jew-ier than “Fiddler.”/ And if my books are “shiksa lit?”/Sandusky’s not a diddler.”


“’Shiksa lit/ What is that sh*t?/I’m a Jewish locavore, and when I make borscht/ My beets (and my beats) are all locally sourced.”

And now, I am offering you this deal.

Pre-order a copy of THE NEXT BEST THING. You can get it from Amazon! From Barnes & Noble! Indiebound will direct you to the independent bookseller of your choice.

Tell me you did so on Twitter or Facebook. (No receipts necessary; I’ll take your word for it).

Then, I will write you a Jewish rap, thus establishing my Tribe cred to the three people who were worried about it.


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