I grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by language, culture, and belief.

photo by Danielle Aquiline


My first book, The Grammar of God: A Journey Into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), is about the intense experience of reading the Bible in English after an entire life of reading it in Hebrew.

The Grammar of God was a National Jewish Book Award finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize finalist, one of Publishers’ Weekly’s Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015, and a National Jewish Book Club pick for 2018-19.

I am The Forward’s language columnist. My writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, The Gettysburg Review, The Chicago Tribune and Zoetrope: All-StoryMy poetry chapbook Eve and All the Wrong Men is available from Dancing Girl Press.

I am an associate professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, a founding faculty member of the Randolph College MFA program, and a member of the Third Coast Translators Collective.