Melissa Bank, bestselling author of modern Jewish heroines, dies at 61

Published date05 August 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Bank's publisher, Penguin, confirmed her death in a statement. "She captivated generations of readers with her warmly piercing takes on relationships, family and adulthood," the publisher said

Bank, whom the Los Angeles Times famously dubbed "like John Cheever, only funnier," published just two books during her career: "The Girls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing," in 1999, and "The Wonder Spot," in 2005. But both were bestsellers, and "Girls' Guide" was a publishing phenomenon, spending months on the New York Times bestseller list. And both centered around single Jewish women finding their way in the world: Jane Rosenal, in "Girls' Guide," and Sophie Applebaum, in "Wonder Spot."

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In the snapshots of their lives Bank let readers glimpse through interlinked short stories, Jane and Sophie won over ardent fans by refusing to bend to the rules: both those governing the dating scene and the traditions that indebted them to their mothers and grandmothers. Their comic misadventures often intersected with Jewish life. In "Wonder Spot," Sophie plays hooky from Hebrew class, considers taking a job with a Jewish newspaper, and contends with a cousin's bat...

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