About the Author
Marsha Lee Berkman has published her prize-winning fiction in literary magazines and journals, university presses and anthologies, both nationally and internationally. Her work has been called “original and powerful,” and has appeared in The Schocken Book of Contemporary Jewish Fiction, Writing Our Way Home, Mothers, Shaking Eve’s Tree, Feldspar Prize Stories 2, Lilith, The Long Story, The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Chicago Quarterly Review, Sonora Review, REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters, Cottonwood, Confluence, Compass Rose, Talking River, RiverSedge, Western Humanities Review, Other Voices, Sifrut Literary Review, Mosaic, Westview, Entropy, New Laurel Review and many other publications.
She is co-editor of the acclaimed collection, Here I Am: Contemporary Jewish Stories From Around The World, published by the Jewish Publication Society and awarded the prestigious PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. The anthology has been praised “as a superb collection of beautifully written stories by outstanding editors,” and is available from The Jewish Publication Society at the University of Nebraska and Amazon.
Her academic studies began at Northwestern University where she received her B.A. in English. She holds graduate degrees in English Literature (Sonoma State University), Creative Writing (San Francisco State University), where she studied with Gina Berriault, William Dickey and Leo Litwak, and a Master of Science and Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute in Chicago. Her doctoral dissertation is a study of the historical forces that have shaped Jewish life and the power of memory in the collective consciousness and literature of the Jewish people.
Marsha Lee Berkman was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, grew up in the Midwest and South, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. She enjoys reading and studying, especially biblical texts and Talmud, music, walking, family activities and being an active part of her community, for which she has received several awards and recognition. She is a member of Poets and Writers and PEN America. In addition to her PEN Award, she was a Semi-Finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Quarterly West Novella Award. Her work has been selected for the Jewish Women’s Literary Annual and Feldspar Prize Stories 2. She has taught writing and memoir workshops and is available for readings, interviews, editing, fiction tutorials and lectures.
As an artist, she believes that writing is a way to order the apparent chaos of the world and to find understanding and meaning in the universe and in one’s life. She accepts it as an act of prayer, an attempt to reveal the sacred spaces between the words.
Marsha Lee’s favorite author is Virginia Woolf who taught her to pay attention to the transcendent power of time and to the unrealized strength of women artists waiting to share their gifts. Woolf’s novel To The Lighthouse and her extended essay, A Room of One’s Own have remained two of her most beloved books.