The first novel in the Three Houses Trilogy
On Amazon Now
some of My Books

The first novel in the Three Houses Trilogy 

The second novel in the Three House Trilogy

In the Fist of Mars, poetry


Watch my first video, "The Taming of the Convert"​, from the short story collection "New Tales of the Shtetl". In "The Taming of the Convert", Rabbi Pinsker, from the imaginary shtetl of Cholentsk, and Father Smirnou, his friend, an Orthodox Christian priest from the next town over, work together to talk a young mystic out of converting to Judaism. Their efforts don't go as planned. Cick here to watch. 


Why I'm writing "New Tales of the Shtetl"  

As an Ashkenazi Jew on my mother's side, I fell in the love with the shtetl, and became possessed, dybbuk-like, with characters of the Old Country. In the grand tradition of Sholom Aleychem and Isaac Bashevis Singer (whose talent towers well above mine), I decided to tell new tales of the shtetl, in my own, secular voice.

The tales take place in two locales: Minsk and the imaginary shtetl of Cholentsk, in the first few decades of the twentieth century, when great change was sweeping through the Pale of Settlement and its Jewish communities. New ideas and new science were threatening religious thought; many Jews were managing to assimilate and assume "normal" identities; and the shtetl struggled with internecine conflict as it dealt with modernity and a resurgence of antisemitism and pogroms.

This was a time of massive emigration, to the United States primarily, but also, surprisingly, to Eretz Israel, well before it became a country.

These tales feature Rabbis, Rebbetsins, cobblers, seamstresses, spinsters, vagrants and musicians and many more as they find themselves at odd with the times. I'm hoping they will resonate with young people and their parents alike: it makes sense for Jews across the world to examine their place in society, as an ugly kind of nationalism rises across the globe.

These "New Tales of the Shtetl" are meant to be read out loud, and at first, I will be sharing them with audiences in the Bay Area, at JCCs and other community centers. I'll update this page when this happens.





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(C) 2019 By Laurent Liscia, powered by Wix 

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