Growing Up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn, and Some Really Bad Dates is a magical realist memoir by Donna Minkowitz from Riverdale Ave. Books.
So, um, … what’s a magical realist memoir?
Well…. when Donna was growing up, her mother told her and the whole family that she could do Jewish magic from the Kabbalah — and they believed her. (She was a creative and quite domineering woman.) So Donna decided to write this memoir as though her mother really could do magic, and made Donna from clay as her own personal golem servant.
(In Jewish legend, a golem is an enchanted clay being that can walk and talk, created to serve.)
Q: Well then, what does Donna do as a golem?
A: Anything the mother wants. Including, eventually, becoming a radical queer reporter for the Village Voice. (Yes, the mother is a queer-positive leftist.)
But unfortunately, golems are not made for self-actualization or the ability to connect with others, and although Donna desperately wants to have relationships with real human women, she can’t. How the hell can she become human?
In Growing Up Golem, Donna Minkowitz becomes a golem who breaks the mold.
To see an excerpt, click here. I’m excited to share the news that Growing Up Golem has just been named a finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and for the Publishing Triangle’s Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award!
Check out the excellent video trailer by the artists who made Edie and Thea: