Issue 2 - Spring 2006 - The Fight Issue
"Jewish Wrestling All-Stars" and "Move Over, Miss Polonia"
Eddy Portnoy brings the drop-kick world of Jewish wrestlers ("Jewish Wrestling All-Stars") to G&P, including “highly authentic” trading cards featuring such luminaries as “Blimp” Levy. Portnoy also writes about the Miss Judea Pageant in this issue (“Move Over, Miss Polonia”), a beauty contest that in 1929, had all of Warsaw going wild. He has taught history at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has contributed to journals such as Polin, The Drama Review, and the International Journal of Comic Art.
“Two Sworn Enemies and a Microphone”
Dorian Lynskey says he spent a very long time answering security questions in the Tel Aviv airport before researching his feature on hip-hop in the Middle East, “Two Sworn Enemies and a Microphone.” He is a regular contributor to The Guardian and Blender. He lives in London.
“Man, Not Superman”
Jonathan Goldstein’s story “Man, Not Superman,” about Superman’s hapless sidekick, a not-so-superhero named Stuart, appears for the first time in print in this issue. Goldstein is the writer, host, and executive producer of CBC Radio’s WireTap, a program of his monologues and eavesdropped phone conversations. He is also author of the novel Lenny Bruce Is Dead and a contributing editor to Public Radio International’s This American Life. He lives in Montreal.
“None Apparently Allergic to Spandex”
Nicholas Hune-Brown looks into the universe of classic superhero comics and finds many Jews in “None Apparently Allergic to Spandex.” His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star and Maisonneuve.
"We Do Not Believe. We Will Not Follow"
Jerusalem reporter Micha Odenheimer wrote his report on the anti-Zionist Jewish sect Neturai Karta (“We Do Not Believe. We Will Not Follow”) after meeting with Karta leaders in the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Meah Shearim. His writing has been published in The Washington Post, The Times of London, The Guardian, and Foreign Policy, and he writes regularly for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. He has reported from countries such as Somalia, Iraq, Nepal, Myanmar, and Haiti.
Miriam Katin created the autobiographical comic “Eucalyptus Nights” for G&P. In this issue, we also excerpt pages from her upcoming graphic memoir, We Are on Our Own (Drawn & Quarterly, May 2006). Katin was born in Hungary in 1942, served in the Israeli army in the 1960s, and has worked as an animator for Disney and MTV. She says she is proud to have worked on Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. She lives in New York.
"Yonkle Doodle Dandy"
Jody Rosen recently curated Jewface, a CD compilation of Jewish dialect recordings from the early twentieth century (Reboot Stereophonic, 2007). He brings some of the images of this Jewish Vaudevillian scene to this month’s Archive section (“Yonkle Doodle Dandy”). He is the music critic for Slate and the author of White Christmas: The Story of an American Song. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, and other publications.
"Prophet: The Early Years"
Arnon Grunberg’s novel, De joodse messias (The Jewish Messiah), excerpted in this issue (“Prophet: The Early Years”), is being published in full English translation by Penguin in 2008. Born in Amsterdam in 1971, he started his own publishing company specializing in “non-Aryan” German literature while still a teenager. His first novel, Blue Mondays, published when he was twenty-three, was a European best-seller. He has since written five other books, including the multiple-award–winning novel Phantom Pain. His writing has been translated into eighteen languages.
Wayne Koestenbaum (“Heidegger’s Mistress”) is the author of five books of nonfiction, including Jackie Under My Skin and Cleavage; five books of poetry, including his latest, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films; and one novel. He is a professor of English at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.
"The Great Jewish Beauty"
Lara Vapnyar’s memoir, “The Great Jewish Beauty,” pits sexual awakening against self-loathing in 1980s Russia. She is the author of the story collection There Are Jews in My House, and her novel, Memoirs of a Muse, will be published by Pantheon this year. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and Zoetrope. She was born in Russia and moved to the U.S. in 1994.
STEPHEN J. WHITFIELD
"A Stereotype With Muscle"
Stephen J. Whitfield examines the stereotype of the weakling Jew and finds it makes very good sense, indeed, in “A Stereotype With Muscle.” The article is excerpted from a longer essay in Jews, Sports and the Rites of Citzenship (Jack Kugelmass, ed., University of Illinois Press, August 2006). Whitfield is a professor of American Studies at Brandeis University and the author, most recently, of In Search of American Jewish Culture. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, and American Scholar.
"O.T. at the O.C."
Aimee Bender imagines what Moses would do if dropped into sunny southern California in “O.T. at the O.C.” She is the author of the short story collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Pick of the Year in 1998, and a novel, An Invisible Sign of My Own, also a Los Angeles Times pick in 2000. Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Granta, Harper’s, The Paris Review, and McSweeney’s. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for 2002, and is at work on a new novel.