Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What My Teenage Self Wants

Colleen of Chasing Ray has an interesting post called What a Girl Wants: Representing All the Girls #3 . In both the main post itself and the comments, the discussion about which writers can represent what cultural group in literature is going strong. As I scrolled through the comments, I was reminded of the era in which I searched for books about children like me, i.e. the product of a marriage of mixed religions. My mother was Mennonite, my father was Jewish, and I wanted books in which the main character had to deal with the different religous traditions. I came across a couple of books: Mixed-Marriage Daughter, by Hila Colman and Davita's Harp, by Chiam Potok. With both books I felt a little cheated. Conveniently, the mother in both books was Jewish, so that if the characters decided to embrace their Jewish heritages, they didn't have to go through the fuss and bother of conversion. LoneStarMa reminded me in the comments that Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret has the main character as the child of an interfaith marriage AND the setup has the mother as Christian and father as Jewish.

I've requested some memoirs and essays from the library including essays edited by Laurel Snyder called Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes, and Bloomfield Avenue: A Jewish-Catholic Jersey Girl's Spiritual Journey by Linda Mercadante). I would like to have some recommended fiction titles in which children of interfaith marriages are main characters. Do you have recommendations? Please share in the comments.

Thanks to Tanita of Finding Wonderland for highlighting Colleen's post.

P.S. Like Davita, I too have a doorharp.


Lone Star Ma said...

I may be misremembering but wasn't Margaret of Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret fame living in an interfaith household?

Saints and Spinners said...

LSM: Of course it was! I can't believe I forgot. Thank you. I'm going to amend my list in the main post.

Patti J said...

"Confessions of a Closet Catholic" and "The Truth about my Bat Mitzvah" are two very good middle grade books about girls dealing with their spiritual identities.

Saints and Spinners said...

Patti J: I enjoyed Confessions of a Closet Catholic. I'll have to check out The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah. Thanks for the recommendations.