The Winter issue of Jewish Book World is in the mail! To celebrate, we thought we’d share a sneak peek of the issue with an excerpt from Jewish Book World‘s interview with Danit Brown, author of Ask for a Convertible:
One of the major themes of your story collection is Israel. Tell me a bit about your personal relationship with Israel.
My background is pretty similar to Osnat’s (the main character in the book) in that I was born in Israel and moved here when I was ten. We’ve always had a close connection to Israel. I was in school in Israel from first to fourth grades and I was taught that Israel was a place to go back to. I went back as a Returning Minor in my 20’s but I was never able to make the adjustment.
You have several other themes that flow throughout your narrative, including family and a sense of belonging. One of the minor yet consistent themes is that of running. How much of a metaphor is that for any underlying motifs of running toward something or running away? Or do you just like to run?
I do love to run. I’m not good at it at all. But if it’s functioning as a metaphor, it’s not something I was actually aware of.
We understand, of course, that your protagonist, Osnat, is a fictional character. You’ve already told us she shares much of your background. How much does she reflect your feelings?
I would have to say that while some biographical elements are similar, I would have to give a typical writer’s answer that all of the characters reflect my feelings in some way through their positions. All the characters are caught between conflicting feelings or situations or cultures.
Have any of those conflicts been resolved?
For some of the characters, they have. Harriet and Noam have found a way to resolve their contradictions and Osnat is well on her way.
To read the complete interview, be sure to check out the Winter issue of Jewish Book World
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi is the executive director of Jewish Book Council. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Prior to her role as executive director, Naomi served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. In addition, she has overseen JBC’s digital initiatives, and also developed the JBC’s Visiting Scribe series and Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.