In the opening sentence of her introduction, Israel writes, “My last name, Israel, means one who wrestles with God. And wrestling is all I know.” And that description gives us a sense of Israel’s book. It’s not a mere recollection, but a reckoning, one in which Israel wrestles not only with her own life, but also with the past she inherited, one full of intergenerational trauma as well as intergenerational gifts.
Israel also wrestles for a future she hopes to make for herself and her young sons, one full of grace and gratitude. “You have to find a gift in every hard thing.” That’s advice that Israel once received. And her book, in which she wrestles with the pain and grief and beauty of life, is her gift to us.
Eric LeMay is on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. His work ranges from food writing to electronic literature. He is the author of three books, most recently In Praise of Nothing: Essay, Memoir, and Experiments (Emergency Press, 2014). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric LeMay is on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. He is the author of five books, most recently Remember Me. He can be reached at email@example.com.