There are few more outspoken proponents of conservative ideas in North American Jewry today than Ruth Wisse: pioneer of the academic study of modern Jewish literature, longtime professor of Yiddish and Yiddish literature at McGill and Harvard, essayist, political commentator and author of a dozen books. In works such as If I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, Wisse argues that Jews must stop blaming themselves for the hatred, past and present, of Judaism and Jews.
What makes great literature? Do Jeffrey Eugenides and Stephen King write beach reads or books worthy of the canon—or both? And where do women writers fit in? One of the biggest advocates for breaking down barriers between popular and critically revered books is a writer whose trademark is creating quirky Jewish women who worry about their weight and eventually find true love—and themselves in the process.