Experience is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic December pick by the 92NY Jewish Literature Book Club.


After a reading by the author, R. Barbara Gitenstein, Lindsey Benjamin, host of the Book Club will lead a Q and A.


Topics in the Q and A include: Facing antisemitism and mitigating impact, Challenges faced in a mixed marriage, Resilience and mentors influencing her academic leadership


New York, NY (December 8, 2022) – R. Barbara (Bobby) Gitenstein announced her book Experience is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic was selected as the December pick for the 92NY Jewish Literature Book Club, through the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life.  She will read from her book on December 13, 7:30 pm.  To register https://www.92ny.org/class/jewish-literature-book-club

“We are very excited to host R. Barbara Gitenstein for our upcoming book club meeting.  This is the first time we have had the opportunity to have an author address our book club,” comments Lindsey Benjamin, head of the 92NY Jewish Literature Book Club.

The 92NY Jewish Literature Book club is in its second year, this year spanning nine months instead of six – from September through May. The book club reads a variety of genres, including short stories, novels, and memoirs, that all connect to Judaism in one way or another. During its discussions, the group tackles themes that include but are not limited to spirituality, women empowerment, and Jewish identity.

Leading from the periphery

Before entering Academe, Gitenstein learned to lead from the periphery, benefitting from exceptional sometimes surprising, and sometimes expected, mentors.

  1. Barbara Gitenstein’s narrative captures the shock and the humor she faced when confronting the obstacles of being the only “whatever” in the room (Jew, woman, southerner, liberal).

Her Jewish parents moved from New York City to a small town in south Alabama to operate a shirt factory, the town’s largest employer; not surprisingly, they were considered outsiders. Gitenstein’s journey began there in Florala, a town near the border of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. While Southern etiquette prevented most citizens from overtly anti-Semitic slurs, she knew from a young age that she just did not fit.  When she left for boarding school in the 8th grade, she discovered that it was more than being Jewish and a Yankee that made her an oddity.  She was an intellectual; she loved classical music. She survived painful loss and life changing challenges.  In a chapter focused on her father’s impact on her life, Gitenstein writes of about how he taught her about running an ethical business.

Gitenstein has received praise from several media outlets.  Recently Gitenstein’s book was reviewed in The New York Journal of Books by Mark Pinsky.  From 1999 to 2018 she served as president of The College of New Jersey, a public university, capping a distinguished career as an English scholar, professor, and educational administrator.

“It was a challenging and strange childhood,” she writes in the Introduction to Experience Is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic.

“I did not fit in anywhere, not in a town of eighteen hundred Baptists and Methodists, two hundred Presbyterians, and ten Jews,” five of whom were her own family.

“My scholarly focus as a professor of English was Jewish-American Literature.  My dissertation was on Yiddish Literary influence on Jewish American Fiction and in 1986 I published Apocalyptic Messianism and Contemporary Jewish-American Poetry, so I welcome this opportunity to speak before this 92Y Jewish Literature Book Club,” says Gitenstein.

Experience is the Angled Road: Memoir of an Academic

By R. Barbara Gitenstein

By Koehler Books

Cost of the book are:

SOFT COVER: $17.95, 978-1-64663-751-5
HARD COVER: $25.95, 978-1-64663-753-9
EBOOK: $7.99, 978-1-64663-752-2


If you are not attending the reading and still want to buy the book, you can click here topurchase a book.



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