The Punk-Rock Queen of the Jews by Rossi

The Punk-Rock Queen of the Jews by Rossi

This is Rossi’s wild, queer coming-of-age story. Rossi was taught only to aspire to marry a nice Jewish boy and to be a good kosher Jewish girl. At sixteen she flowers into a rebellious punk-rock rule-breaker who runs away to seek adventure. Her freedom is cut short when her parents kidnap her and dump her with a Chasidic rabbi—a “cult buster” known for “reforming” wayward Jewish girls—in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Rossi spends the next couple of years in a repressive, misogynistic culture straight out of the nineteenth century, forced to trade in her pink hair and Sex Pistols T-shirt for maxi skirts and long-sleeved blouses and endure not only bone-crunching boredom but also outright abuse and violence.

The Punk-Rock Queen of the Jews is filled with wonderfully rich characters, hilarious dialogue, and keen portraits of the secretive hothouse Orthodox world and the struggling New York City of the 1980s: dirty, on the edge, but fully vital and embracing.

Year first published: 2024

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