The Shik­sa Syndrome

Lau­rie Graff
  • Review
By – January 13, 2012

Whether or not author Lau­rie Graff intend­ed to include an unnamed yet bla­tant ele­ment in her third nov­el, The Shik­sa Syn­drome, she most cer­tain­ly did. 

The anony­mous com­po­nent is nei­ther an ani­mal nor a human, but its pres­ence is as pal­pa­ble as a sum­mer fruit sal­ad. Or, per­haps, as sour as a fresh­ly-picked lemon. 

You see, the fly on the prover­bial wall in Graff s nov­el is stereo­typ­ing. Of Jews. By Jews. By a Jew who pre­tends to be a non-Jew, or, in Aimee Albert’s case, pre­tends to be a shiksa. 

Set in Man­hat­tan, the book stereo­types sin­gle Jew­ish women as spoiled, demand­ing brats who care for noth­ing more than the size of their dia­monds. Undoubt­ed­ly, there is truth in that stereo­type, but Graff injects Albert’s self-dep­re­cat­ing humor into the mix, soft­en­ing the sti­fling stereo­types that oth­er­wise lead to sarcasm. 

Does Aimee-cum-shik­sa man­age to cap­ture her all-too per­fect Jew­ish boyfriend? If she does, is she des­tined to eat ham on white for the rest of her life or will she final­ly fess up that she’s a Jew­ess, after all? 

You won’t over­tax any brain cells read­ing this nov­el, but you are very like­ly to be entertained.

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Tami Kamin-Mey­er is a licensed attor­ney who would rather write than fight. Her byline has appeared in a vari­ety of pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens, The Rotar­i­an, Ohio Super Lawyers, Ohio Lawyers Week­ly, Ohio Mag­a­zine, Cleve­land Jew­ish News, the Jew­ish Tele­graph­ic Agency, and www​.chabad​.edu. She is also an award-win­ning Hebrew school educator.

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