Pesach for the Rest of Us by Marge Piercy
Making the Passover Seder Your Own

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Synopsis

Every year, poet and novelist Marge Piercy creates her own Passover seder with a group of family and friends. Babies have been born and grown up, friends have moved or divorced, but the principals continue to gather in her rustic Cape Cod home to participate in a seder that Piercy takes joy in tweaking each spring to make it more meaningful. In this journey through the ritual, Piercy coaxes us toward “a significant contemporary interpretation, rather than an emphasis on what is strictly ‘correct’ or traditional.” She reminisces about her grandmother, who thought herself unworthy to lead a seder because of her limited Hebrew but presided “morally” at the table; she urges adding an orange to the seder plate; she even describes her heroic efforts to make her own gefilte fish (an experiment not to be repeated).

Piercy offers her distinct slant on each element of the feast and provides dozens of her own wonderful recipes, which she delivers in the same warm, commanding voice as is heard in her poems and prose: “When I told Ira that I was going to explain how to cook matzoh brei, he thought I was crazy. Everybody knows how to make matzoh brei, he said. But I am of the opinion that there is no longer anything that everybody knows how to cook.”

It is in that spirit–no question too simple–that Piercy welcomes readers to her kind of seder: a homemade and personal affair, the kind we all wish we could attend. This charming and instructive book of Passover wisdom, brimming with favorite dishes and Marge Piercy’s own moving Passover poems and blessings, invites us to look at an important Jewish ritual in a whole new way.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Marge Piercy

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Poet and novelist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 31, 1936. She received a B. A. from the University of Michigan and an M. A. from Northwestern. She is involved in the Jewish renewal and political work and was part of the civil rights movement. She won the Arthur C. Clarke award. Besides writing her own novles and collections of poetry, she has collaborated with her husband Ira Wood on a play, The Last White Class, and a novel, Storm Tide. In 1997, they founded a small literary publishing company called the Leapfrog Press. She currently lives in Cape Cod.
 
Published March 31, 2009 by Schocken. 304 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Cooking. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Pesach for the Rest of Us

Publishers Weekly

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The traditional Passover seder is dissected, reinterpreted and given a contemporary and feminist bent in Piercy's guidebook to making the haggadah more readable and meaningful to today's unaffiliated Jews.

| Read Full Review of Pesach for the Rest of Us: Ma...

The Kitchn

($9.99) • Read the first chapter on Marge Piercy's website More 2009 Book Reviews • Cooking For Friends by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm • Big Food by Elissa Altman • Edible Schoolyard, by Alice Waters • The River Cottage Meat Book, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall • Milk, by Anne Mendelson...

Apr 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Pesach for the Rest of Us: Ma...

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