Gershgoren Novak, Estelle 1940–

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(Lydia Draper)

PERSONAL: Born January 12, 1940, in Detroit, MI; daughter of Milton (an artist) and Beatrice (a homemaker and office worker; maiden name, Rotman) Ger-shgoren; married Maximillian E. Novak (a professor), August 21, 1966; children: Ralph Aaron, Daniel Akiva, Rachel Aviva Novak Lederman. Ethnicity: "Jewish." Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1961, M.A., 1962, Ph.D., 1968. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: "Tennis, on occasion."

ADDRESSES: Home—451 South El Camino Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, assistant professor, 1968–74, 1999; California State University, Northridge, lecturer, 1974–75, 1983–84, 1989–95; University of California, Los Angeles, lecturer, 1975–79, 1980–81, 1984–88, 1996–98; Loyola Marymount University, Westchester, CA, lecturer, 1999–2001.


The Shape of a Pear (poetry), Fithian Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996.

(Editor and contributor) Poets of the Non-Existent City: Los Angeles in the McCarthy Era (anthology), University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 2002.

The Flesh of Their Dreams (poetry), Fithian Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2002.

Contributor to books, including Poets of Today, edited by Walter Lowenfels, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1964; Reading Philip Roth, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1988; Literary Exile in the Twentieth Century, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1991; and Yom HaShoah (poetry anthology), Texas Tech University Press (Lubbock, TX), 1991. Contributor of articles and poetry in English and Yiddish to periodicals, including Judaism, Blue Collar Review, Pemmican, Treasure House, Mosaic, Response, Poetry L.A., Colorado-North Review, Israel Today, and Contemporary Literature. Some writings appear under pseudonym Lydia Draper.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Writer as Exile: Israel Joshua Singer, a critical study of the works of Israel Joshua Singer, Yiddish novelist, 1893–1944; another collection of poetry.

SIDELIGHTS: Estelle Gershgoren Novak told CA: "I have been writing poetry since the age of seventeen, inspired by the very fine poet and teacher, the late Thomas McGrath. Having spent a good deal of time in the university world, I have tried to absorb as much good as I could while trying to avoid the stultifying influences that often come from institutions.

"My first love has always been poetry. My father was a fine artist and showed me how the visual world influenced all aspects of his life. Though I learned much from him about color and light, I was more attracted to the music of the word and the power that was created by the compression of great poets like William Blake or Emily Dickinson."