HBI's Tova Mirvis will write between worlds on Wednesday

Tova Mirvis

WALTHAM, Mass.– The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) will host current Scholar-in-Residence and renowned novelist Tova Mirvis as she examines the landscape of contemporary Jewish American literature in a Nov. 18 talk titled “Writing Between Worlds: On Being a Jewish Writer.”

Mirvis will address such questions as “Do you consider yourself a Jewish writer? Is this a Jewish book?” These are often the first questions posed to a Jewish writer, and the ones that cause the most hedging and protest. Mirvis will discuss how both the preponderance of the question, and the anxiety in the response, are distinctly Jewish. Delving into the confrontation between the obligations and limits of traditional, religious life and living in the modern world, Tova’s first two novels, “The Ladies Auxiliary,” a national best seller, and “The Outside World,” received glowing reviews and have been translated into many languages.

While in residence at the HBI, Mirvis is working on her next novel, focusing on four generations of Southern Jewish women. "She frequently tells us what an enormous difference it makes to her progress on the newest novel to have a 'room of her own' at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute,” says Sylvia Barack Fishman, co-director of the HBI. “It's a thrill to play such a significant role in the creative process.  I can hardly wait to hear her insights on Jewish fiction.”

Mirvis, who received her MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University's School of the Arts, has also been included in many anthologies and publications including “Who We Are: On Being and Not Being a Jewish American Writer,” “Longing: Psychoanalytical Musings on Desire,” and “The Modern Jewish Girls Guide to Guilt.” She has written reviews and essays for publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The Forward and Poets and Writers.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University. A reception with light refreshments will precede the talk at 6 p.m. A book signing of her novel "The Outside World" will follow. RSVPs are strongly encouraged; please e-mail hbi@brandeis.edu with the names and number of guests.

The HBI Scholars-in-Residence Program provides scholars, artists, writers and communal professionals the opportunity to be in residence at Brandeis University while working on significant projects in the field of Jewish women’s and gender studies. For more information, visit the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Web site.

About the HBI (Hadassah-Brandeis Institute)

The (HBI) Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research and artistic projects.

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