Arts & Culture

The Big Jewcy: Rivka Galchen, Writer

  Saying that Rivka Galchen has made a huge impact on the literary world since the release of her first book, Atmospheric Disturbances, came out in 2008, would be quite an understatement.  The Canadian born, Oklahoma raised author was recently … Read More

By / June 16, 2010

 

Saying that Rivka Galchen has made a huge impact on the literary world since the release of her first book, Atmospheric Disturbances, came out in 2008, would be quite an understatement. 

The Canadian born, Oklahoma raised author was recently named one of the New Yorker’s 20 under 40 most important young authors, and is currently working on her second novel. 

I’ve only met one other Jewish person who lived in Oklahoma.  Any interesting stories or memories you could share about being Jewish in Oklahoma?

There was never any risk of blending in; it was great, in that way; I never had to dye my hair blue or shave my head in order to manifest externally that teenage sense we all have of being profoundly different. Also, the religious perspective of many Oklahomans was quite friendly toward the curious appearance of an actual Jew: I was told more than once of a gratitude towards the Jewish people ‘for keeping the word of God for all those years before Jesus."

You received your M.D. in psychiatry, what made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I didn’t think fiction writing was an option; that’s not what obedient children do, and I’m very obedient; fiction writing is a gamble and I like to hide money under my mattress; but in the end, some rebellion probably starting in my spleen overthrew my frontal lobe factions and I became a writer.

Do you ever see yourself switching back up and practicing instead of writing?

I wish I could do both, but I need plenty of sleep.

Your next book is titled "The Nature of Theater in Oklahoma", how is that coming along, and what’s it about?

Talking about a book in progress freaks me out! I’m worried it’ll make it disappear.