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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"...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

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…)