Award-winning author Anca L. Szilágyi discusses her debut novel, “Daughters of the Air,” with Lori Hope Lefkovitz, author of “In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identity” and Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. Their conversation will touch on political novels, Jewish fiction, and the creative process.
About “Daughters of the Air”:
Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl—until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away: to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively—and literally—spreads her wings. Told with haunting fabulist imagery by debut novelist Anca L. Szilágyi, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement, and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.
Anca L. Szilágyi grew up in Brooklyn. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, and Lilith Magazine, among other publications. She is the recipient of the inaugural Artist Trust/Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, a Made at Hugo House fellowship, and awards from the Vermont Studio Center, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction.”
Lori Hope Lefkovitz is the Ruderman Professor of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University, where she directs the Jewish Studies Program and the Humanities Center. Her books include “In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identity”, which was named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the category of Women’s Studies, “Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust” (with Julia Epstein), “Textual Bodies: Changing Boundaries of Literary Representation”, and “The Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel”. She has been a senior Fulbright professor and a Golda Meir post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an academic fellow at the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis, and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson dissertation fellowship in the Women’s Studies. She holds an honorary doctorate from was the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where held a chair in Gender and Judaism and where she was founding director of Kolot, the Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies and the founding executive editor of the website ritualwell.org. Professor Lefkovitz holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MA and PhD from Brown University. She serves on editorial and professional boards and publishes and lectures widely.+ More... - Less...
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