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Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story, as well as the novella I Was Here. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and Tin House, and has been anthologized in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and elsewhere.

Her most recent novel, The Weight of Ink, was the winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award.  Set in London in the mid-17th century and the early 21st century, this powerful novel is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an immigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.  Toni Morrison calls Kadish, "A gifted writer, astonishingly adept at nuance, narration, and the politics of passion."

She has been a fiction fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, has received the National Jewish Book Award, the Association of Jewish Libraries Fiction Award, and the John Gardner Fiction Award, and was the Koret Writer-in-Residence at Stanford University.

She lives outside Boston and teaches in Lesley University's MFA Program in Creative Writing.

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Talks and Topics

  • The Weight of Ink Author Presentation
  • Why Fiction Matters
  • Chiune Sugihara's Legacy: The "Japanese Schindler"
  • Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women
  • The Life of a Woman Writer - For Real
  • Telling the Truth in a World that Wants to Twist It
  • Joint Presentation with Novelist Jessica Shattuck: On Nazis, Family and the Question of Forgiveness
The Weight of Ink is the best kind of quest novel—full of suspense, surprises and characters we care passionately about. How thrilling it is to watch the imperious Helen and the scholarly Aaron turn into brilliant literary detectives as they uncover the identity of a woman who lived more than 300 years ago, and how thrilling it is to get to know that woman intimately in her own time. A beautiful, intelligent and utterly absorbing novel.
— Margot Livesey, author of MERCURY

Like A.S. Byatt’s POSSESSION and Tom Stoppard’s ARCADIA, this emotionally rewarding novel follows […] present-day academics trying to make sense of a mystery from the past…Vivid and memorable.
— Publishers Weekly

Check Rachel's Availability

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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • July 29, 2018: Jewish Festival of Books - Great Barrington, MA
  • July 6, 2018: Biblioteca Sormani Summer Festival - Milan, Italy
  • Sept 16, 2018: Temple Beth-El Author Series - Haverhill, MA
  • Sept 20, 2018: College of the Holy Cross - Worcester, MA
  • Oct 14, 2018: Temple Beth-El Reading - Sudbury, MA
  • Oct 23, 2018: Touro College - New York, NY
  • Mar 9, 2019: Literary Women Festival - Pasadena, CA

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