The Girls of Jerusalem and Other Stories by Marsha Lee Berkman

The Girls of Jerusalem and Other Stories by Marsha Lee Berkman

From the opening vignette in which a photograph is a silent witness to history to the powerful coda “Miracles,” a novella set against the vibrant panorama of the Yiddish theater in America, the fifteen memorable narratives in The Girls of Jerusalem and Other Stories reinterpret ancient tropes to reveal new understanding of the singular endurance of Jewish memory.

“Ghosts,” one of the many stories about strong women, explores the friendship between two women who move beyond their separate destinies, shaped by the pain of the Shoah for both victims and successive generations. Two stories, “Grisha,” and “Why Are You Afraid?” center on contemporary Israel, while the difficulty of creating a Jewish life in America informs “My Grandmother’s Eyes” and “How I Found My Life.” In the title story, a young woman struggles to regain her sexual and emotional freedom, assuming the identity of her biblical counterpart in the Song of Songs.

Written by a storyteller who brings poetic mastery and pervasive knowledge to her subject, The Girls of Jerusalem and Other Stories links centuries and continents through Jewish history, spanning many voices, places, and eras, from the period of the Enlightenment to the twenty-first century, encompassing compelling chronicles of love and loss, piety and heresy, mysticism and rationality, and stirring stories of exile, dislocation, and profound change.

The author’s website:

Year first published: 2024

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