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November 01, 2002 - Image 95

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

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

Spanish," reveals a male sportswear man-
ufacturer, 30. "It keeps me entertained."
The author had no inhibitions
about talking to strangers and was told
that many of the quirks stemmed from
And her own?
"I spend my dirty money first," she

Judy Reiser speaks noon Sunday, Nov.
17, at the Jewish Community Center
in West Bloomfield.

Midlift Crisis

Jan King was not raised in a Jewish
home, but she puts "Jewish shtick"
into her books and presentations.
King, author of When You're Hot,

You're Hot (How I Laughed My Way
Through Menopause) (Andrews
McMeel; $10.95), can trace elements
of her humor to cutting through life
experiences, gaining perspective from
her Jewish husband and visiting come-
dy clubs close to home.
Her title refers to the hot flashes
often experienced by women in
menopause, uncomfortable when they
occurred in her life but an easy source
for her style of poking fun.
"Menopause was spitting in my face
like an Egyptian cobra," she writes in
the beginning of her personal revela-
tion, "but I was floating on DeNile."
While King's book is dominated by
humor, often in the one-liner style of
standup comics, there are somber
moments, set aside with the heading
"But Seriously ... ." The most jarring has
to do with her fight against breast cancer
at this very emotional time of her life.
"Everything I write has a basis in
truth," says King, also the author of
Hormones from Hell, It's a Mom Thing
and It a Girl Thing.
"Talking about breast cancer wasn't
that easy, but once I knew I was going
to stay alive, it was my duty to talk
about it. I think my style of writing
and speaking is a great way to get the
message across."
King brings more to her subject
than personal experience. A former
high-school biology teacher, she also
taught sex education. Between the
funny stuff are medical facts she
thinks 40-50ish women — and those
around them — should know.
King's previous visits to Michigan
were at the request of the once-popu-
lar Company TV show hosted by
Marilyn Turner and John Kelly. Her
invitations were to open discussions
about her earlier writing topics.
"When I write my books, I think

about women in my age group," says
King, whose upcoming work, Red Hot
Mamas, explores female empowerment.
"I'm just starting another book about
women's programming on television."


Jan King speaks 10 a.m. Friday, Nov.
15, at the Jewish Community Center
in Oak Park and 1 p.m. Friday, Nov.
15, at the Jewish Community Center
in West Bloomfield.


Sexual Preference

Lev Raphael, a writer who has stud-
ied and taught at Michigan State
University, is among the essayists in
Found Tribe (Sherman Asher
Publishing: $15.95), a book of person-
al revelations by gay Jewish men.
Editor Lawrence Schimel, who sought
and selected the final essays, includes his
own story in this collection. His earlier
works include books on many subjects
from gay expression to children's stories
unrelated to sexuality.
"Found Tribe is mostly about com-
munities and overlapping communi-
ties," says Schimel, who lives most of
the year in Spain because he finds the
environment more humane. "It's about
how to create space within a larger
community and how to recognize com-
munities that gay groups have created."
Schimel's book introduces 17 men
talking about family life, frustrations
and fulfillments. Some are very explic-
it in describing their expression of self
physically and emotionally.
Raphael, in "To Be a Jew," moves
from his early years to his time in
Michigan, where he found a long-term
partner and became in touch with rit-
ual. Schimel, in "My Father's Tattoos
or, Family Outing" explains how his
coming out of the closet reconnected
family and friends.
Edward Cohen, in "Choreographer,"
explores his relationship with his father,
and Gabriel Blau, in "Two Truths:
Living as a Religious Gay Jew," disclos-
es reactions in Orthodox settings.
"I like anthologies because they
bring a lot of different voices together,
offer an element of surprise and create
an opportunity for new voices to be
heard," says Schimel, who has spoken
on "Out of the Closet, Out of This
World: Minority Cultures in Fantasy
and Science Fiction" at Wayne State
University. "Anthologies show that
there's not just one way to be."

Lawrence Schimel speaks 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Jewish
Community Center in West

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