Statlander, Jane (B.) 1943-
STATLANDER, Jane (B.) 1943-
Born March 22, 1943, in Newark, NJ; daughter of Ernest/Aaron (a carpenter) and Rose (a homemaker; maiden name, Eisdorfer) Mendlowitch; married Raymond Statlander (a professor of fine arts), December 13, 1962 (divorced May 5, 1996); children: Stefan, Joshua, Daniel, Rachael, Orly. Ethnicity: "White." Education: William Paterson University of New Jersey, B.A. (English), 1965; Fairleigh Dickinson University, M.A. (English), 1968; University of New England, Ph.D., 2002 (American literature and dulture). Politics: Conservative. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Chess, film, reading, travel.
Office—Department of English, Negev Academic College of Engineering, Bazel St., Beer Sheva, Israel 84100. E-mail—[email protected]
Negev Academic College of Engineering, Beer Sheva, Israel, lecturer in English, 1997—. Also worked as a journalist for a newspaper in New Jersey.
William Carlos Williams Poetry Award, 1972.
A Family Affair (play), performed in Tel Aviv, Israel, 1996.
Contributor of poetry, essays, and reviews to periodicals, including Distant Springs, Jewish News, North Stone Review, Taxi, Expression One, New Dimensions, and Mercury Hour.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Story of a Newark Girl, a fictionalized biography; research on the American historical romance tradition.
Jane Statlander told CA: "I have been writing almost since I started breathing on this earth. As a very small child I wrote little poems, essayistic outbursts, plays for my dolls. I remember always creating plots, worlds, dramas, poems. I constantly felt like an old soul in a little girl's body.
"My parents are Holocaust survivors, and I began my existence with 'the mark' on my forehead. I was with/in life but murdered at birth. I was destined to live in the immense shadow that the Holocaust cast onto my being, my life; but, paradoxically, I unceasingly felt God's protection. I have been incessantly wandering the earth somehow protected from all enemies.
"I write because I breathe. Being alive and writing are concentric functions for me. In my fiction I sincerely have nothing in mind to achieve. Not to write is to feel like a madman—not in balance.
"My academic work has focused on the fateful ties—as I view them—between America and Israel: the promised lands. Certainly there has been something prophetic in my twenty-five-plus-year-long investigation into the cultural, philosophical ties binding the two countries to one another.
"My fiction explores a myriad, a kaleidoscope of perceptions, fantasies, proclivities, preferences, attractions, repulsions, truths, lies that the eye and the mind of this mortal shell God jettisoned me into this world to inhabit.
"I was most influenced by (not necessarily in order of importance) the seventeenth-century English metaphysical poetry of Donne, Marvell, Crashaw, et cetera; Hebrew scriptures; American literature in general, Henry James, Poe, Melville, Puritan literature, Hawthorne, Irving, Cooper, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth, Jonathan Swift; Shakespeare; the existentialists; Henrik Ibsen. The list is pretty long.
"I've been reading omnivorously since I was seven years old. I think that Philip Roth is ingenious. A genius? I'm not sure if he is. We're from the same place—Newark—so we talk the talk and walk the walk concentrically.
"When I get ready to write, I disconnect from everything, or the reverse happens. Everything and everyone around me become cut and converted into the reality-patchwork that the process of writing fiction engenders.
"My advice to writers: don't become a writer unless it drives you crazy not to write."