Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3232
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3240



My article examines how Liana Finck’s 2014 graphic narrative A Bintel Brief contributes to historical studies and artistic representations of the early twentieth-century encounter between Eastern European and American values by her engagement with some letters of Jewish immigrants to the United States addressed to The Forward and her pondering on their relevance in the present. I am particularly interested in how the combination of words and images for the eleven letters included in the narrative adds new possible angles to interpret the Bintel Brief column that has been the focus of a considerable number of scholarly studies. I contend that Finck’s graphic narrative uses history as a form of confession about the dynamics between past and present lifestyles of Jewish Americans differently from the majority of Jewish women authors of comics primarily concerned with the representation of their own personal experiences. Finck brings history and her persona together by including in the narrative a fictionalized version of herself who imaginatively meets The Forward’s legendary editor Abraham Cahan in the present, giving rise to an intriguing dynamics I will examine in this article. She thereby seems to pan out a possible sub-category with its own specifics within Kaminer and Lightman’s broader umbrella-term of Jewish women’s confessional comics.


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