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November 01, 2002 - Image 90

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arts Entertainment

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`Blues In The Night'

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Carry-Out & Catering]

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Wild ride.

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www.detroitjewishnews.com

11/1
2002

90

Find
out
before your mother!

Nathan Englander and Thane Rosenbaum,
much the way Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and
Bernard Malamud were parallel male voices
of an earlier generation?
JSF: It's come up that I might be the "next
Philip Roth." But the things that made Philip
Roth, Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, Saul
Bellow are their entire careers, the changes
•they made between books. Philip Roth is the
next Philip Roth precisely because he can
change and address new topics.
I'm not protesting too much. One book is
something to be proud of. But it's not a
tremendous achievement. A tremendous
achievement is a career, three books even, from
which you can detect a meaninghd trend.

.

JN: One of your characters said in the
book that it is getting "harder to believe in
man." Is it hard for you to believe in man?
JSF: I know I believe in my brothers. I don't
question their goodness. And once you believe
in the goodness of one, you have a sense of
saying, 'Teo* are capable of goodness."
I know my brothers are not unique in the
world. Just because the inclination of the
world is to go crazy doesn't mean there
aren't plenty of exceptionally good people
who are worth investing all of your faith in
I try to believe in myself and be the kind of
person I can believe in

JN: In The Book of Antecedents, the book
that contains the history of the mythic
shtetl of Trachimbrod, you wrote under
the entry "Jews have six senses" that the
Jews' sixth sense is memory. What did you
mean by this?
JSF: Memory is important. I don't think
Jews have a privileged relationship to memo-
ry, but Jews have had to depend on memory
more than any other people in the last cen-
tury — and perhaps in the last millennium.
Things have disappeared, whole lands,
people and possessions have vanished, and
so you just remember them. ❑

Jonathan Safran Foer speaks 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.

er latest book, Blues in the Night (Ballantine Books; $23.95),
demonstrates again why Rochelle Krich has won an impor-
tant place in the pantheon of outstanding mystery writers.
Starting in 1990 with Where's Mommy Now?, this award-winning
Orthodox woman from Los Angeles has published 10
excellent crime novels in which her Jewish background
is appropriately manifest.
Five of the books feature Jessie Drake, a Los Angeles
police detective who discovers her Jewish heritage as
an adult and adopts an Orthodox lifestyle. Blues in the
Night introduces us to a new heroine, Molly Blume, an
observant Jew who works as a freelance reporter/true crime reporter.
Both women are divorced, but while Jessie has ambivalent feelings
for her ex-husband, Molly is happy to be rid of the man who cheated
on her.
As in her other books, Krich has done considerable research to pro-
vide a realistic base for the story.
This time — with her timely subject postpartum psychosis — a key
figure in the story is a woman who claims she was suffering from the
ailment when she killed her infant son. When the woman herself
turns up dead, Molly
has a puzzle on her
hands: Was it suicide
or murder?
The puzzle enlarges
when a second death
occurs; now the web of
suspicion is cast wide.
Molly is indefatiga-
ble in her investigation,
grabbing the attention
Research and
of readers as she astute-
realism combine
ly identifies a number
in Rochelle Krich
of clues and suspects.
mystery with a
The ultimate solution
new Modern
to the mystery is sur-
Orthodox heroine.
prising and satisfying.
Along the way, Molly
becomes involved with a former boyfriend who is now a rabbi. The
ups and downs of their re-ignited romance add spice to the story.
Also contributing special interest is the portrait of Molly's wise old
grandmother, Bubbie G.
"I guess I'm writing about the grandmother I would have loved to
know," says Krich, a daughter of Holocaust survivors who lost entire
families in the war. "Bubbie G is a composite of my mother and her
friends, all survivors.
"She's practical. She's courageous. She's kind. She's honest. She has a
sense of humor."
She also is a loving member of Molly's large Orthodox family, who
helps to reinforce Molly's image as a Modern Orthodox woman,
much like Krich herself.
"There's probably more of me in Mollie than in Jessie," admits
Krich, married and the mother of six children. "We're both Orthodox
Jewish, use a treadmill and share a passion for crime fiction, romantic
comedies and mah-jongg."
Krich combines her own religious background and her diligent
research with a well-developed capacity to write incisively. The often-
autobiographical nature of fiction is evident in this first-rate book
that combines reliable and convincing authenticity with a fascinating
story.

ues
the

Night

. .



.

— Morton I. Teicher

Rochelle Krich speaks 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at the Jewish
Community Center -in West Bloomfield.

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