Molly Antopol teaches writing at Stanford University, where she was a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow. A recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award, she holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in San Francisco.
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A Q&A with Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
Your stories move from McCarthy-era America to modern-day Israel to communist Europe and back again. What's your connection to these times and places?
Many of the stories in this book were inspired by my family history, notably their involvement in the Communist Party. I come from a big family of storytellers, and I grew up surrounded by tales of surveillance, tapped lines and dinnertime visits from the FBI. Those thingscombined with my very nerdy love of research and library archivesinformed my McCarthy-era stories.
In terms of the Israel stories, I've spent my entire adult life going back and forth between there and the U.S. I lived there for yearsI used to work for a Palestinian-Israeli human rights group, and at a youth village aiding new immigrants from Chechnya, Ethiopia, and the former Soviet Union. And for the past seven years, since being on Stanford's academic schedule, I've spent my summers there.
Eastern Europe is a part of the world that's always fascinated me. My family's originally from there, many of my favorite books were written in (and about) communist-era Europe, and in recent years I've been ...
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