Ellen Golub, Ph.D.
Author of PsychoSemitic


Ellen Golub became smitten with Sholem Aleichem, whom she first read in Hebrew at age 10, about fifty years after the Yiddish writer's death. She went on to study Biblical and Hebrew literature at Hebrew College (Boston) and received a Ph.D. in English at SUNY Buffalo, with a minor field in psychoanalysis. Her dissertation was a psychoanalytic interpretation of orality—a fixation on food and mother—in Jewish literature from B’Reshit to Philip Roth. She began her career as a professor on the English and Jewish Studies faculties at the University of Pennsylvania, teaching and writing psychoanalytic interpretations of Jewish literature.

Despite her enthusiasm for fiction, a three year Freudian analysis convinced Golub that Sholem Aleichem would not be returning any time soon. Like her hero, she nevertheless began writing and syndicating articles and stories in the Jewish press. She then received a generous grant from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute to bring two S.A. characters back to life. She revived Menachem Mendel and Sheyne Sheyndel and placed them in a contemporary American context, giving them Prozac and solving several problems in their marriage. The result is PsychoSemitic, a novel testing the multiple dimensions of Jewish identity.

Golub remains a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, where she founded the ezine, 614, and continues to write fiction. She is Professor of Communications and director of the journalism program at Salem State University, where she researches the future of the book. She still dreams of Sholem Aleichem, but only at night now—so there is no need for a restraining order.

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