Friday, October 17, 2008

Review: Shiksa Syndrome

Laurie Graf's new Manhattan-set chick lit novel has the twist that a Jewish single, accidentally taken for a shiksa by a handsome Jewish guy, follows through with the deception in order to make him fall in love with her. Which he does.
And we all know the outcome: she learns "to thine own self be true"--blah, blah, blah--and she'll live happily ever after. Married. Jewish. End of story.
I thought that this cute plot (the shenanigans and twists of which are carried on ad nauseum, unfortunately) would be a fun way for me and my readers to get familiar with many Jewish customs. There's even a helpful little glossary in the back which is helping me finally get "kiddish" and "kiddush" sorted out.
But the book is annoying me. All the good characters are either Jewish or in the process of converting.
And the book is upsetting me. It says that shiksas are attractive to Jewish men because of the following:
we are sweet
we don't threaten or challenge
we aren't bossy
we don't say much
we're not analytical
we're not Mom
we look like Barbie.
And I'm wondering if I'm upset because it's true. (Except for the Barbie part.)

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