Places We Left Behind, with Jennifer Lang in conversation with Marc Dollinger
Join Jennifer Lang, author of Places We Left Behind: a memoir-in-miniature, and Marc Dollinger to discuss her new book about cross-cultural marriage, interdenominational relationships, making aliyah, and identity.
About the book: When American-born Jennifer falls in love with French-born Philippe during the First Intifada in Israel, she understands their relationship isn’t perfect. Both 23, both Jewish, they lead very different lives: she’s a secular tourist, he’s an observant immigrant. Despite their opposing outlooks on two fundamental issues—country and religion—they are determined to make it work. For the next twenty years, they root and uproot their growing family, each longing for a singular place to call home. In Places We Left Behind, Jennifer puts her marriage under a microscope, examining commitment and compromise, faith and family while moving between prose and poetry, playing with language and form, daring the reader to read between the lines.
Born in Berkeley, Jennifer Lang lives in Tel Aviv, where she runs israelwriterstudio.com. Her prize-winning essays appear in the Baltimore Review, Under the Sun, Midway Journal, and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays nominee, she holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an assistant editor for Brevity Journal, and is a longtime yoga practitioner and instructor. Her book Places We Left Behind: a memoir-in-miniature (September 2023) will be followed in 2024 by Landed: A Yogi’s Memoir in Pieces & Poses, both published by Vine Leaves Press.
Dr. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. He is author of four scholarly books in American Jewish history, most recently Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing The Alliance in the 1960s. He has published entries in the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Encyclopedia of Antisemitism, and the Encyclopedia of African American Education. His next project, A Tale of Two Campuses: Antisemitism From The Left and the Right, traces his experiences as an identified Jewish (and Zionist) professor in the current political climate.