Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hush: A new young-adult novel tackles sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox world


Hush, a young adult novel by the pseudonymous Eishes Chayil (the pen name is a Yiddish-inflected version of eishet chayil, which means “a woman of valor”), received starred reviews from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and the notoriously hard-to-please Kirkus Reviews. Booklist called it a “stunning debut” and “powerful stuff.” School Library Journal called it “thoughtful, disturbing and insightful.”

So, why hadn’t I heard of it?

A librarian who reads Tablet Magazine alerted me to its existence, saying she hadn’t seen anything about it in the Jewish press. Indeed, a Google search finds only a snotty thread (based on Amazon’s description rather than on the book itself) on an ultra-Orthodox-run discussion board called Hashkafah, and a rave review on the blog The Velveteen Rabbi (written by a female rabbinical student in the Jewish Renewal tradition). That’s it.[...]



    Joel Rich

  2. I didn't read this article, but Tablet is an anti-semitic, self-hating Jewish rag.

  3. Maybe Tablet is a anti-semitic, self hating Jewish rag, but Hush by Eishes Chayil (the irony) is a heartwrenching book that is based on too many such stories. I heard of this book a while back by a close freind, today secular, who has been horribly abused as a child. He could not stop crying. I read the book. It has stayed in my mind ever since haunting my dreams becuase I know that this stunningly written book, this enormous chillul hashem--- is true. This time maybe we created it with our own hands. After decades of ignoring sexual abuse, after years of allowing these children to suffer horribly- somebody is going to write about it. We are just unfortnate that that somebody, whoever she is, is a serioulsy powerful writer. You should see the reviews on amazon. And this is less then two months after the boko was published. Give it a few more months... Hashem- the chillul hashem... What have we done?


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