Leora Skolkin-Smith was born in Manhattan in 1952, and spent her childhood between Pound Ridge, New York, and Israel, traveling with her family to her mother's birthplace in Jerusalem regularly. She earned her BA and MFA and was awarded a teaching fellowship for graduate work, all at Sarah Lawrence.
Her first published novel, Edges was edited and published by the late Grace Paley for Ms. Paley's own imprint at Glad Day books. Skolkin-Smith has received grants from many cultural and artistic foundations and Edges was nominated for the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award. Awarded a stipend from the Pen/Faulkner Foundation, she is currently a contributing editor to readysteadybook.com. and her critical essays have been published in The Washington Post, The National Book Critic's Circle's Critical Mass, and other places. Edges won the 2008 Earphones award for original audio production narrated by Tovah Feldshuh and a film is currently in development.
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Leora Skolkin-Smith explains the backstory to her first novel, Edges
I think, looking back, that the days "Edges" was only a cipher
inside my very confused ideas about heritage and psyche, writing and
autobiography, real history and the illusions of politics were the
days the back-story for the novel began. I had really gone through two
other unsuccessful novels, trying as hard as I could to turn the world
I knew as a child into some sort of workable literary clay. Everything
I formed from this clay, though, was either desperately personal or
show-offey, depending on how much I had to prove to myself that I was
really a writer on any given day. It was more like I was a boxer using
words-- pugnacious, defensive and always so punchy.
A certain unmistakable character trait began to manifest itself these early struggling writing days. It was Grace Paley, a friend to my piles of drafts and rejection letters from publishers, who finally said: "You know, you have a certain fight and pridefulness in you not ...
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