Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Matthue Roth presents, “Candy In Action”

Posted by Oyster on December 10, 2007

matthue roth

This ain’t yo’ mutha’s nice Jewish writer.

Who: Matthue Roth, Jewish poet, musician & writer

Where: Main Library @ Civic Center, San Francisco, CA

What: Public reading from his latest novel, “Candy in Action”.

When: Tuesday, December 11th @ 6 PM JST (Jewish Standard Time)

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Matthue Roth this summer on ROI 120. Matthue also blogs for JewSchool and Jewcy. Turns out that his move to SF was formative for his Jewish identity and for his writing aspirations. More about the author from the “Candy in Action” blog:

Matthue Roth is a performance poet, and the author of the novelss Candy in Action and Never Mind the Goldbergs, and the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go.

He’s filmed for HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and Rock the Vote, performed with Deepak Chopra and Carlos Santana, and completed three national tours with his own brand of poetry that isn’t quite hip-hop and isn’t quite storytelling, but still manages to be funny and sweet and brutal and brutally honest. He’s lectured and performed at high schools and universities nationwide, including Yale and Harvard, and tours regularly.

You can find out about books Matthue’s been published in or his performance poetry or even Matthue’s science-fiction hip-hop band. Or you can just go to his secret online diary at www.matthue.com and poke around.

* * *Candy In Action cover

The novel Candy in Action sets forth a worldview so unlikely that it can’t help but ring true: a world where James Bond is a sexually vulnerable gay man, the Penchen Lama metes out fashion advice, teenage computer hackers who live in Goldilocks towers are rescued by MySpace-surfing supermodels, and the most spiritual awakening of all occurs to the least traditional of characters: to the bimbo-ey blond who’s so popular that she can’t help but feel alienated.

And all of this comes from, perhaps, the most unlikely place of all: from the mind of a straight, twentysomething Hasidic punk-rock boy. Matthue Roth was prompted to write Candy after a friend was stalked and raped. After the incident, he says, she felt withdrawn, depressed, but most of all powerless—powerless to stop it, but also powerless to do anything else.

“This book is kind of my fantasy,” he says. “Not of what could have happened, but of how I wish we could’ve expressed ourselves. It was more a coping mechanism, a dream of what could happen in another universe…a universe where real life drops into kung-fu battles at the drop of a dime.”

Candy in Action is Matthue Roth’s take on fourth-wave feminism — a feminism that’s going to come from the most unlikely of places.


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