I've donated money to the National Yiddish Book Center which gathers and saves Yiddish books from around the world. Doing a little to save a millenium of rich culture should be reward enough in itself. Still, receiving Goodmanthe Center's quarterly Pakn Treger (i.e., Book Peddler) is a welcome lagniappe. The latest issue carries a transcript of an interview from last December with Allegra Goodman, author of Total Immersion, The Family Markowitz, Kaaterskill Falls, Paradise Park, and Intuition. It's not too much of a stretch to call the last of these, her most recent, a mystery. You know, there are some people who are so far out of your league that you can't be envious of them. Such is the case with Ms. Goodman who had a story accepted by Commentary on her first day at Harvard.

I laughed aloud when I read this question and her answer:

Q. You have four kids now. How does one remain a writer with four kids?

A. This is one of the deep questions of my life.

Me, too.

Certainly, writing a novel does give us writers the chance to create a fictional universe. That's almost like playing God, isn't it? Here's what Ms. Goodman says about that: "The writer struggles too much to be like God, that's the problem. It's just too hard for us...."

Take a look at the whole interview here.

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