Crossed Genres was a wonderful idea for a publication: The premise was that all of its stories would fall, however vaguely, into at least two genres. The brainchild of Bart Leib and Kay Holt, it was a great example of an innovative independent press pub. I was lucky enough to have several stories accepted; "Seder Guest," which is a humorous fantasy, was the first. Although Crossed Genres is no longer a regular publication, Bart and Kay are actively creating new works; my story "In the Background" recently appeared in their micro-anthology Resist Fascism.
The story behind the story: "Seder Guest" began as an attempt to build a story around a punchline (as will become obvious when you read it). And I hope it's as funny as I tried to make it. However, what it eventually also became was a story about one of those 1950s / 1960s Jewish housewives who were often caricatured as loud, pushy, funny and fiercely loyal to their families -- and who, in fact, were all that, and more.
Sadie (and yes, I used the name deliberately) is a woman caught between immigrant parents and Americanized children; her voice still has the intonations of the Yiddish that she grew up with but no longer uses. She lives life fully, forgiving the flaws in herself and others, because as the child of immigrants, and the wife of a World War II veteran, she knows very well that what you have can be taken away in a moment.
One additional note: This story was originally going to appear as part of the family saga in my mosaic novel The History of Soul 2065. However, as I worked the book into shape, it became obvious that Sadie didn't really belong in that more mysterious universe -- nor did the young man whom her daughter brings as a guest to the family seder. Which is why I'm introducing you to her here.
An epic tale of the supernatural that begins with two young girls meeting in a magical glade, and follows their two families from the turn of the 20th Century through the terrors of the Holocaust and ultimately to the wonders of a future they never could have imagined.
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