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Apr 21, 2021

We chat with author Rena Rossner about her new book, inserting ourselves into historical fiction, the fairy tales of her youth, and looking beyond the golem in Jewish folktales. 


Content Warning: This episode contains conversations about or mentions of antisemitism, leprosy/illness, pandemic, conflict/war, bigotry, cultural erasure, and misogyny. 



Rena Rossner hails from Miami Beach, Florida. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars program, Trinity College, Dublin, and she holds a MA in history from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her debut novel, The Sisters of the Winter Wood, was listed as "One of the 100 Best Books" of the year by Publisher's Weekly. She currently lives in Israel, where she works as a Literary Agent at The Deborah Harris Agency. Her grandparents and great grandparents immigrated to the USA from Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova - their stories, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, inspire her work. Her most recent book is The Light of the Midnight Stars, which is now available. 



- Recommendation: This week, Amanda recommends Gods & Lies from Realm.

- Books: Check out our previous book recommendations, guests’ books, and more at

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About Us

Spirits was created by Julia Schifini, Amanda McLoughlin and Eric Schneider. We are founding members of Multitude, an independent podcast collective and production studio. Our music is "Danger Storm" by Kevin MacLeod (, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.