If All the Seas Were Ink

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Mar 13, 2018 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines

A Discussion with Author ILANA KURSHAN

At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan decided to begin learning daf yomi, the “daily page” of the Talmud. By the time she completed the Talmud after seven and a half years, Kurshan was remarried with three young children. If All the Seas Were Ink is her moving and remarkable memoir of this journey through heartache and humor, love and loss, marriage and motherhood—all guided by the pages of the Talmud, which become for Kurshan a conversation about how best to live one’s life in an imperfect world.

This event is sponsored by The JTS Library. Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS, served as moderator.

About the Author

Ilana Kurshan is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink, published in 2017 by St. Martin’s Press. She has translated books of Jewish interest by Ruth Calderon, Benjamin Lau, and Micah Goodman, as well as novels, short stories, and children’s picture books. Her book Why Is This Night Different From Other Nights was published by Schocken in 2005. She is a regular contributor to Lilith Magazine, where she is the book reviews editor, and her writing has appeared in the Forward, the World Jewish DigestHadassahNashimZeekKveller, and Tablet. Kurshan is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, summa cum laude, History of Science) and Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and four children.