Review Excerpt: Whatever your political, spiritual, or philosophical stance, this is a book well worth reading and elements of it will haunt your dreams for years. Read More.
Archive for the "Press" Category
Hallelujah! The Philadelphia Inquirer’s reviewer gets the ending.
Excerpt: That’s one of the most interesting questions American Taliban raises: Can parents rear their children in all the right ways for the lives they imagine for the children, and yet leave them unprepared when the path veers unpredictably? READ MORE.
LIsten to me on The BookShow with Joe Donahue WAMC: The Book Show #1141 – Pearl Abraham (2010-06-01).
After the recent attempted car bombing by a Pakistani-born American citizen in New York’s Times Square, Pearl Abraham’s fictional exploration of the radicalized mind in “American Taliban” (Random House) is especially pertinent. The book is loosely based on on the story of John Walker Lindh — the young American who joined the Taliban, returning to America in 2001 to face prosecution. The subject matter is a departure for Abraham, whose 1995 “The Romance Reader” established her as a powerful voice in Jewish-American literature. Like her protagonist Rachel Benjamin, Abraham was a prodigious and often stealth reader of secular literature at an early age who also left behind her Hasidic family. She went on to study literature at Hunter College and writing at New York University. She currently teaches writing at Western New England College.
The Sisterhood: In your first novel, “The Romance Reader,” Rachel Benjamin is claustrophobic in her parents’ Hasidic world. In “American Taliban,” John Jude Parish, is the only child of generous, perhaps over-indulgent, parents. Are these characters more alike than they seem on the surface? Read more.
Daily Beast Review: Abraham suggests that the first steps toward fundamentalism can be accidental and near-arbitrary. John is yearning for new, mystical experiences—the more exotic the better—and if Noor had been a young, flirty yogini, he might as well have pursued Buddhism. Read More.
Watch this 7-minute clip excerpted from a longer Fox News’ God Talk segment, “Terrorism and Faith.”
Bookpage Q&A Excerpt:
What do you think a fictionalized or imagined account of a real-life person or event can tell us that a book of nonfiction cannot?
If you believe, as I do, that imaginative empathy, which demands stretching yourself, is one of the most powerful ways to understand the other, then a fictionalized imagined account has greater access to that understanding. Facts often tell us very little, and sometimes, perhaps I should say often, they turn out not to be factual, as we know from our study of historical accounts. Read More
For the first 12 years of her life, Pearl Abraham moved between the Hasidic communities of New York and Jerusalem, living two years here, a year there, alternating schools, studying first in Yiddish, then in English, and then again in Yiddish. As an adult she would come to understand that her personal linguistics had undergone a major shift when the characters in her dreams—people who would normally speak Yiddish in real life—began to speak in English.
Read the complete interview on the Bomb Magazine website.