A couple of weeks ago, some of the comments on a post I wrote about defining Jewish writing revolved around the introduction to Sarah Shapiro’s All of Our Lives. I took a workshop with Sarah–who writes, edits, and teaches amazing writing workshops that have inspired many fledgling Jewish writers–and have a lot of respect for her opinions, so I borrowed the book from a friend (thanks Miriam!) in order to more accurately represent Sarah’s opinions here.
Sarah’s essay “The Writer’s I” reflects several of the issues I discussed in my original post. Jewish Writing can be defined by the author’s identity, by its subject matter, or can be considered a completely arbitrary label. She personally feels that “all three are right,” but admits the difficulty in establishing a single definition.
Sarah goes on to say that attempts to identify or define specifically Orthodox Jewish writing are even more complicated. Continue reading