Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish is the author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story.

I asked her what she has been reading. Her reply:
I'm researching a new novel, and have been reading a lot of non-fiction both directly and indirectly related to the time period I want to write about. Some of what I'm reading is admittedly dry, but along the way I've encountered some remarkable books. Rebecca Goldstein's biography of Spinoza, titled Betraying Spinoza, is just brilliant, and surprisingly moving. I'm not a habitual reader of philosophy, have never felt drawn to that mode of metabolizing life. But Goldstein's biography of this man who braved excommunication in order to speak his mind is riveting. (For those unfamiliar with Rebecca Goldstein's work, she is both a philosopher and a novelist. If you're looking to read a novel of ideas, try one of hers -- her novels are beautifully written; powerful; thought-provoking long after you've finished reading. True novels of ideas. My favorite is Properties of Light.)

I've also been reading Megan Marshall's The Peabody Sisters, which is a terrific read and fascinating history.

And Kim Garcia's newly published book of poems, Madonna Magdalene, is extraordinary. (Full disclosure: she's a friend. But I'd be singing her work's praises even if she weren't.)
Rachel Kadish's short fiction and essays have appeared in Story, Tin House, Zoetrope, Lilith, and Bomb, in the 1998 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and elsewhere. Her work has been anthologized most recently in Lost Tribe: New Jewish Fiction from the Edge (Harper Collins, 2003), The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt (Dutton, 2005), Who We Are: On Being (And Not Being) a Jewish Writer in America (Schocken Books, 2005).

Visit her official website.

Read the Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

--Marshal Zeringue