Perle Besserman

Yeshiva Girl Stories


A collection of linked stories, "Yeshiva Girl" explores the little-known world of American Orthodox Judaism from a young girl's perspective. A feminist coming-of-age story paralleling the experiences of Chaim Potok's yeshiva boys, Besserman's collection depicts the limited intellectual and social expectations, and stunted future promise, of precocious girl-children like Pnina, who, from her earliest days in a strictly orthodox, all-girl yeshiva (Jewish parochial school) finds herself first questioning, and gradually rebelling against, family constraints as she seeks to forge a new identity in the secular (gentile) world outside her community before ultimately coming to terms with her own.

"Refreshingly, these stories open up a traditional Jewish world with an aim to illuminate rather than sensationalize. Sights, thoughts, and conversations are rendered exactingly, with an eye toward socially and historically meaningful details. . . an entrancing, authentic portrait of a girl growing up in Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn . . . "
Leora Freedman, The Ivory Pomegranate and Parachuting

" . . . In these stories Perle Besserman's barely teen-age Jewish 'girl' challenges her Jewish God to define His presence in her life. Besserman's stories are told with tears and with laughter but, above all, with an artistry that is heavenly."
Chester Aaron, author of over 25 books.

Selected Works:

Literary Journal Publications
Novels and Collected Fiction
"The Kabbalah Master" : A Novel - forthcoming in April 2018.
Creative Nonfiction
"Grassroots Zen: Community and Practice in the 21st-Century,"with Manfred Steger. Monkfish Book Publishing, 2017.

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