In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.
One of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the United States, Rabbi Ilene Schneider found another career as a writer, with an award-winning series featuring another female rabbi: Rabbi Aviva Cohen, who has appeared in three books so far—Chanukah Guilt, Unleavened Dead, and Yom Killer—with a fourth in progress, Killah Megillah. She also wrote the nonfiction book Talking Dirty—in Yiddish? and created a website of questions and answers about Chanukah. But we’re welcoming here today as a short story writer—talking about her latest story, “Triangle” is included in the anthology Jewish Noir II: Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds, edited by Kenneth Wishnia and Chantelle Aimée Osman and out now from PM Press.
Ilene is the third contributor to Jewish Noir II to offer an essay here. Jeff Markowitz wrote earlier on “The Black and White Cookie,” and Jen Conley reflected last week on “Hunter”—both of them with a partial focus on names and naming. Ilene’s essay discusses the importance of first lines, last lines, and pacing in between. And we’ll have one more essay next week from Steven Wishnia.
Othe contributors to the anthology include Gabriela Alemán, Doug Allyn, Jill D. Block, Craig Faustus Buck, D.M. Evans, Robin Hemley, Ellen Kirschman, Rita Lakin, Joy Mahabir, Zoe Quinton, Eileen Rendahl, Terry Shames, A.J. Sidransky, Lizzie Skurnick, E.J. Wagner, Kenneth Wishnia, Xu Xi 許素細, Elizabeth Zelvin, and Yigal Zur.
Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read offline.SCHNEIDER-First-Two-Pages