Judith Podell is a fiction writer, book critic and lapsed lawyer. Her earliest publication, a feminist satire of the popular pornographic movie "Deep Throat," appeared in the Village Voice in 1973. Since then her publications have include Mademoiselle, The New Guard Review, WordWrights, The Crescent Review and The Washington Post. An excerpt from Blues for Beginners was selected for the 2002 edition of Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor. The title story was nominated for a Pushcart Press Prize. She regularly reviews non-fiction for Publisher’s Weekly and is a member of National Book Critics Circle.
Judith received an MFA from Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine. She has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell, Ragdale Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the District of Columbia Commission on Arts and Humanities. She regularly reviews non-fiction for Publisher’s Weekly and is a member of National Book Critics Circle.
She lives in Washington, DC with writer Larry Specht and the mandatory two cats.
Elizabeth Danzig Teck
on Feb. 13, 2013 :
I rolled with laughter and cried and gasped and then guffawed like a fool. What a romp! Judith Podell knows words and oh boy does she know how to use them. I've never read or heard anyone's take on life that comes remotely close to the glorious vignettes, peek-aboos, satires, parodies, political and philosophical snapshot gems, and all out brilliance, that I've read and experienced over and over again here, from Judith Podell. Oh how I wish I could climb inside her brain and see the cogs turning and churning. WOW! What a prize that would be...
"Blues for Beginners" is one of the most fabulous and fantastical pieces of writing I've read. These are The Blues like you've never seen or heard them before, baby!
I bow and give thanks for this brilliant work. I know that I'll be able to come back time and time again, flip to any page, and I'll be in Blues Heaven all over again. Makes me want to hit the rails and find some honky-tonk fill up stations to top off my blues with only the best, "Blues for Beginners", by the one and only Judith Podell.
I hadn't intended to right a review about "The Blues" right now but my thoughts are tumbling out full steam ahead on their own. Oh yeah!
No matter who you are you will find something in "Blues for Beginners" that will either call your name or have your name written all over it. You will find anything and everything you're looking for in "Blues", from the wild and wooly to the simple, sublime, revolutionary, and gorgeous. Snap shots of every day life, alongside the meanings of the smallest to grandest and most important things and people in our lives.
Give yourself just about the greatest gift you could receive, "Blues for Beginners, by author Judith Podell.
I will return to amend and give "Blues for Beginners" and Podell my best, but I'm sitting here right now trying not to laugh or cry or say, "oh yeah!", like the sounds of a sax going full tilt boogie. As I'm writing I can hear myself saying my words in my mind in every accent that I've ever heard, and even in accents that I don't know what to call. I'm grinning like a kid in a candy shop. Oh yeah!
Thank you, Judith Podell. What a ride!
Elizabeth Danzig Teck
(reviewed within a month of purchase)