Writing What You Know—And What You Don’t
Joseph Helmreich's debut novel explores quantum mechanics (he was a C+ physics student), Catholicism (he's an observant Jew), and coastal Spain—though his European excursions are largely limited to Polish concentration camps.
How to Tell Good Christian Ladies the Bible Is Weird
In rereading stories from Tanakh, novelist Jacob Bacharach was struck by how much these tales have been flattened to satisfy modern storytelling—and by the "extraordinary strangeness" of the original texts.
The Poet of Thompson Street
Science fiction novelist Joseph Helmreich recalls running into Samuel Menashe, the first-ever recipient of the Poetry Foundation's "Neglected Masters Award," while working as a film intern in New York City.
Lessons from Bereshit for Contemporary Novelists
"It is not at all the neat narrative we remember from Hebrew School,” Jacob Bacharach observes, but for a writer of contemporary fiction, it’s a fascinating template on which to overlay a more modern story."