Lecture: Former teachers present ‘Just Another Arab Jewish Potluck’

Elizabeth Polsdofer

Two retired creative writing program faculty members will be discussing their recent books Thursday, Sept. 27. The lecture, titled “Just Another Arab Jewish Potluck,” makes reference to the two speakers’ ethnic backgrounds.

Fern Kupfer, of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, will be talking about her memoir, “Leaving Long Island.” Kupfer’s husband, Joe Geha, will be talking about his recent fiction novel, “Lebanese Blonde.” Geha was born in Lebanon but was raised in an Arab-American community when he immigrated to the United States.

Kupfer is best known for her book “Before and After Zachariah,” which describes raising her special needs child, Zachariah, and his subsequent passing. “Leaving Long Island” also touches on this challenging topic in addition to discussing the end of a marriage and health issues specific to Kupfer’s Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity.

“Through and Through: Toledo Stories,” an earlier book by Geha, is a set of fiction stories surrounding an Arab family in a Lebanese and Syrian community in Toledo, Ohio, during the 1930s. “Lebanese Blonde” is set during the Lebanon’s civil war and is also a fiction novel. Geha has been honored with the Pushcart Prize.