Brett Ashley Kaplan Directs the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies at the University of Illinois where she is a professor of Comparative and World Literature. She publishes in Haaretz, The Conversation, Salon.com Asitoughttobemagazine, AJS Perspectives, Contemporary Literature, Edge Effects, and The Jewish Review of Books. She has been interviewed on NPR, the AJS Podcast, and The 21st, and is the author of Unwanted Beauty, Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory, Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth, and Rare Stuff (a novel). Her edited collection, Critical Memory Studies: New Approaches was published by Bloomsbury in May 2023, and she is at work on a co-edited collection (with Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell and Sara Feldman) entitled Blewish: Contemporary Black-Jewish Voices. She is also writing a second novel, Vandervelde Downs, about the recovery of Nazi-looted objects found in a Vietnamese Refugee Center in provincial England. Please see brettashleykaplan.com for more information.
Rare Stuff takes readers on a multilayered, mysterious journey through a series of interlocking clues. An intriguing search for a missing person moves through real and magically real universes in New York, Chicago, and glass houses under the sea constructed by Yiddish-speaking whales desperate to save our endangered planet. The unusual story touches on grief, love, and precarity leavened with hope.