In these edgy, lyrical stories, S.L. Wisenberg portrays the yearnings of a little sister, the hazy memories of a concentration camp liberator, and the romantic entanglements of political activists. Each of these stories creates its own universe in the space of a few pages. The award-winning title story captures the longings, personal and political, of a sensitive girl on the cusp of adolescence as she tries to find her place in the world - and within her self-contained Jewish community in Houston - during the Vietnam era. A number of Wisenberg's characters are searching for a deep and real connection with their Jewishness, forced to navigate between doubt and faith but fortunately equipped with humor and wisdom. In the twice-anthologized ""My Mother's War,"" a woman negotiates the distance separating her from her mother, a distance between hope and utter despair. ""In the Beginning""is a dark retelling of Genesis, with God a dirty dealer who not only banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden - and not a very comfortable garden at that - but acts in a way that could be considered devilish. Wisenberg's tales cover the spectrum of styles and subjects, but all tap into the rhythms of voices and of life. Her stories already anthologized widely, Wisenberg is part of today's renaissance in Jewish storytelling.
S.L. Wisenberg is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her award-winning stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the North American Review, Tikkun, and numerous anthologies, including The 1997 Pushcart Prize XXI. She is a freelance writer and leads writing workshops in Chicago.