Here, the trees pay their respects, mourn openly,
wear dreadlocks of hanging Spanish moss
sun bleached ash-blue and swaying; in seawind
they become prayer shawls
salted with dust, grief threads of every kind
My uncle killed a man and was proud of it. / Some guy with a knife came at him in Flatbush / and he knocked the fucker to the ground. / The sidewalk finished the job. // By then he’d survived two wives and / a triple bypass. He carried the plastic tubing in his pocket / and would show it to you, to anyone. / He’d unbutton his shirt right there on the street / to show off the scar.
This issue of MQR brings together academic essays, high-level journalism, personal narratives, fiction, poetry, and visual art responding to the transformations of Jewish experience in the United States during the last fifty years, and, speculatively, extending into the twenty-first century. It offers writings that respond to the multiplicity of representations, cultural forms, fashionings and refashionings, that have defined the experience of Jews in America and continue to compel debate. These include works by Jews and non-Jews that engage contemporary controversies in the fields of politics, sociocultural dynamics, the arts, and the relation of Jewish life in America to other historical periods, other geographical places.