Welcome to my blog, Writers of the Lost Arc. Here you'll find writing exercises and tips, Jewish stuff, and, well, we'll see.

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Selected Works

Fiction
"...an action-filled novel...a story of love transcending deformity, both inner and outer…extraordinary, delicate and memorable.” -- Ha'aretz
"… a captivating tale about modern day matchmaking…spellbinding..."
–Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

What does a Kabbalist eat for breakfast?

November 7, 2013

Tags: Jewish fiction, kabbalists, mystics, Israel, miracles, craft of writing

Once upon a time, a person could easily make reference to a rabbi, maybe a rav, and maybe even a rebbe, but a kabbalist?

In Jerusalem, a kabbalist is as common as a plumber. Everyone knows what you’re talking about. In the holy city, the lexicon of magic, amulets and incantations are as real as the corner drugstore. You have a cold? Go to a kabbalist. You have a problem in religion? Go to a kabbalist. You want to marry a man? Go to a kabbalist, he’ll help you.

For the past seven plus years I’ve been swimming in kabbalists, collecting true tales from whoever visited with these mystic figures and rebbes. (more…)

Kosher Soup for Ramadan & Other Tales of My Mother's Moroccan Childhood

November 4, 2013

Tags: Harira soup, Middle Eastern novels, Moroccan cooking, Arab-Jewish friendships

The Bergen Record was coming to my house to do an interview for my new novel. You’d think after having spent years and years writing this book, I’d have imagined this moment, prepared for it, I’d have my patter down, my lines. Ten minutes before they came, I called my husband. “Quick,” I blurted, “tell me again why I wrote this novel.” My husband, a psychoanalyst, replied, “Tell them you wrote it to be closer to your mother.”

I rolled my eyes, laughed, and then I thought, hey, there’s a shtickel bit of truth here. In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist features a Muslim Arab man. My mother grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, which technically also makes her an Arab, even if she’s an Arabic Jew. Here’s the thing, though. Whenever friends meet my mother, they can’t believe we’re even remotely related. She can belly dance with the best of them and hunt down bargains and tchotchkes with a terrifying zeal. In her seventies she is still noticed, still the Casablancan glamour queen. In contrast, (more…)