Kosher Meat

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Overview

'Kosher Meat' is a provocative and enlightening collection of memoir and fiction by a minyan of authors chosen by noted anthologist Lawrence Schimel. Passion, spirituality, tradition, identity, and a refusal to disappear in the face of oppression are persistent themes in this examination of Jewish identity and gay sexuality.

Author Biography: Lawrence Schimel is the author or editor of over forty-five (45) titles including "The Mammoth Book of Gay Erotica,"and "The Drag Queen of Elfland." His short stories and ...

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Overview

'Kosher Meat' is a provocative and enlightening collection of memoir and fiction by a minyan of authors chosen by noted anthologist Lawrence Schimel. Passion, spirituality, tradition, identity, and a refusal to disappear in the face of oppression are persistent themes in this examination of Jewish identity and gay sexuality.

Author Biography: Lawrence Schimel is the author or editor of over forty-five (45) titles including "The Mammoth Book of Gay Erotica,"and "The Drag Queen of Elfland." His short stories and poetry are included in over 140 anthologies, and his work has been translated into Basque, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, and Swedish.He was born in New York City and received his B.A. in English Literature from Yale University. Schimel is a member of The National Book Critics Circle, The Academy of American Poets, and a founding member of The Publishing Triangle which he chaired for two terms (1996-1998). He currently divides his time between Madrid, Spain and New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

Lambda Book Report
The Lost Tribe The wonderful thing about anthologies is that they can frequently, depending on the theme of the book, provide interestingly different perspectives on the same subject Profilic writer/editor Lawrence Schimel's latest project, Kosher Meat, certainly does offer its readers an interesting array of Jewish voices confronting the issues of gay Jewry ....
Book Marks Syndicate
Schimel's latest anthology has more than just a really great title It's a smart, sexy, diverse collection of short fiction and memoirs about being both gay and Jewish Although the title and cover art suggest porn, there's much more substance and a better quality of writing in these pieces than you might expect ....
ForeWord Magazine
"The writers in Kosher Meat lay bare their souls to reveal their innermost thoughts, desires, passions, and anxieties about both sex and Jewish identity." Schimel has put together a collection of ten essays and short stories that are diverse in nature, yet unified to the theme of the work.

Contributors range from award winning poet Michael Lassell to author and '70s gay porn star Rick Sanford. Schimel is a full-time author and anthologist who has published more than forty books. In 1998 his anthology PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality won a Lambda Literary Award. He is also a contributor to this particular anthology with his short story "The Minyan," which describes Simon's thoughts and reactions to participating in his first sex party with a group of men from his congregation. Simon finds himself glad to become part of something bigger than himself: "A Minyan of desire, men who no longer needed to congregate in clandestine secret to worship, but who could love and pray without shame."

Lassell's story, "My People," compares and contrasts losses suffered due to the Holocaust and AIDS. Michael and David meet for the first time and end up sharing their thoughts and experiences while touring the Holocaust Museum.

Through their interaction they discover the need to live and love in the present. "Mein Yidishe Tate," by David May, also explores the connection between two people, but with more of an erotic tone. In his story two lovers discover their secret language of desire--Yiddish. In "The Good Son," Brian Stein relays what it is like to be in a "mixed" relationship. Patrick meets Noah's family for the first time when returning home for his father'sfuneral.

At times the impact of the writing contained in Kosher Meat can be lost on the non-Jewish reader, but fortunately there is a glossary of terminology contained at the back of the book.

Shimel has proven himself to be a talented editor by bringing experiences to the gay Jewish reader who may be feeling lost with the lack of representation in literature, as well as providing insight for the non-gay and non-Jewish reader into the lives of their lovers, friends, and family. Historically, gay men have focussed on the larger picture connected with the struggle for recognition and acceptance. Kosher Meat is an opportunity to learn some of the individual differences that make this community distinctive.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890932152
  • Publisher: Asher, Sherman Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    Somewhat disagree with previous review

    I'm in the Boston reading group referred to by another reviewer. Although I agree for the most part with his comments, I disagree about Schimel's introduction. I found it highly appropriate and suitable to the book. And let's not forget to give credit where credit is due--as editor, he's the one who found all these wonderful stories and essays!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    Kosher Meat is Hot

    To start, you've gotta love the title. And the chutzpah to dare to compile a book that is equal parts lust and literature and satisfies both while sacrificing neither. Playing with the volatile issues of sex and identity these stories arouse the reader and challenge assumptions-something that Schimel has done repeatedly. Lawrence Schimel (the editor of the anthology) shook up all the pat answers on gender with his Lambda award winning 'PoMoSexuals' (translation: Post Modern Sexual) and continues his work brilliantly here tackling assumptions, stereotypes, and secrets with directness, tenderness, and ten fine writers. Erotic and intelligent writing is a rare commodity but Kosher Meat delivers.You may never consider the Holocaust Museum in quite the same way after reading Michael Lassell's 'My People'. If it were a movie, it would be a bravura performance of all dialogue and close-up shots. Understated, shimmering like a platinum print photograph, it leaves you breathless. David May's 'Mein Yiddishe Tate' begins as if it were 'only' porn, the anonymous leather man in San Francisco stuff. The quality of the writing is transparent at first and likewise the emotional impact of the ending is unexpectedly powerful. While wildly diverse, each of the stories adds to the mosaic of identity of being gay and Jewish-an issue that deserves quite a few books more-and a book that unexpectedly offers superlative writing. Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    Our Reading Group Liked It

    My gay reading group (some Jewish, some not) read this collection of stories and essays about being gay and Jewish. What we generally liked best was the range of voices and approaches to the issue--some stories focused more on sex but others more on emotion/psychology. The favorites of our group were the pieces by David May and Daniel Jaffe (our own Boston writer--hurrah!). David May conveyed a real tenderness in his portrayal of an SM relationship. How amazing to see that two men who use pain and violence as part of their lovemaking would be most turned on by the use of Yiddish, by words. The power of words. Jaffe's piece (an essay)about an adolescent religious Jewish boy ashamed of his gay feelings is so honest. The essay makes the point that sometimes we don't want to be who we are because the conflict is so great. Both these pieces left some of our group's readers in tears. Our only complaint was that some of the other pieces were not as well-written as they could have been. Schimel's introduction is fairly weak and cutesie.

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