Saturday, August 11, 2012

Joshua Henkin

Joshua Henkin's new novel is The World Without You.

From his Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

Your subject seems to be family. So what was yours like? Do you draw on it at all?

Ron Carlson said that he writes from personal experiences whether or not he had them. I feel the same way. Good fiction has to be emotionally autobiographical. The writer has to be at risk; you have to be very close to your material. That’s quite a different thing, however, from saying that the work is narrowly autobiographical or that your characters are based on people you know. I come from a complicated family in that, though both my parents were Jewish and raised in New York City, their backgrounds couldn’t have been more different. My paternal grandfather was a famous Orthodox rabbi who lived on the Lower East Side for fifty years and never learned English. He lived exclusively in a Yiddish-speaking world. My mother was raised in the Bronx, on the Grand Concourse, in a secular Jewish home. She went to a progressive private school with no walls between the classrooms and everyone campaigned for Adlai Stevenson and believed that someday we’d be speaking Esperanto. So I know a lot about both the religious Jewish world and the secular Jewish world, and absolutely—my knowledge of those worlds....[read on]
Learn more about the novel and its author at Joshua Henkin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Matrimony.

Writers Read: Joshua Henkin (August 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue