Naama Goldstein & Lara Vapnyar arrived on the American literary scene at almost the same time, both publishing highly praised short-story collections in 2004. Their characters, too, tend to be recent arrivals, making the best of new lands and new situations. In The Place will Comfort You, Goldstein gives us stories of Americans in Israel, Israelis on Cape Cod, and a young girl, at home in two languages, but unsettled by a shivah call. In Vapnyar's There Are Jews in My House, a shy math teacher is assigned to teach sex education to ninth-grade girls, and a Russian boy in Brooklyn tries to avoid translating his grandmother's complaints into English. Naama Goldstein moved to Israel in 1973, at the age of three, and returned to the United States in 1986. Lara Vapnyar emigrated from Russia to New York in 1994 and began publishing stories in English in 2002.
Recorded Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at Abbey Pub.