Book Review – Biography: Jew(ish) A primer, A memoir, A manual, A plea by Matt Greene


This compilation of essays was not just an enjoyable read, but a real eye-opening learning experience for me.  I went into these stories with no expectations, and Mr. Greene delivered an amazing journey through his life as a Jew(ish) person in today’s world, but he goes into Jewish history in such a deep and personal way that you can’t help but be effected by what you’ve just read.

Both humorous and sad, these stories should be read by everyone with an interest in history, specifically Jewish history, as well as anyone searching for their religious identity in a world where things are changing rapidly.  While I struggled to understand some aspects, as I am not Jewish, this book was a learning experience I won’t soon forget.

Purchase your copy here.

Back Cover Copy of Jew(ish):

What does it mean to be Jew(ish) in 2020? Caught between tradition and modernity, between a Jewish family and a non-Jewish son, Matt Greene ponders the big questions concerning identity, religion, family and Seinfeld.

When his son was born to a non-Jewish mother, Matt began to consider the upbringing he’d put behind him—the sense of not belonging, the forbidden foods, the holidays that felt more like punishments. There are more types of Jew than there are bagel fillings, and for every two there are three opinions. But if you’re not a black-hatted frummer, if you’re allergic to groups, if you observe but don’t believe, or you don’t observe at all, does that make you less Jewish?

In this wide-ranging series of essays, at turns irreverent, insightful, urgent and iconoclastic, Matt considers what might loosely be termed ‘the modern Jewish experience’, and asks what it means to be anything in a world obsessed with the self and the other.

About Matt Greene:

Matt Greene is an author, journalist, former screenwriter and stay-at-home dad. He won a Betty Trask Award for his first novel, Ostrich. He teaches critical and creative writing in South London, where he lives with his partner and son. Find him on Twitter @arealmattgreene.

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