Essays & Stories

Jews Like Us

Ayin Press

Robin Reif’s poignant fiction debut, evokes a bygone New York and feelings of estrangement and solace once exchanged between two families as they lived asymmetrical lives in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

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The Missouri Review (vol.46.1)

Any alert woman could have seen it coming; the woman I was felt blindsided.

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To the Woman Whose Body I Washed

Letter to a Stranger, Off Assignment

Spending this night with you was, I suppose, a stab at getting on friendlier terms with death. And perhaps, too, at finding something, anything, to counter the terrifying notion that death is total, preserving nothing.

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The Missouri Review (vol.44.4)

The orange was perfect: every vesicle lush and acidic, a tiny explosion. I didn’t take it to anger her or to cause her pain. I took it because I wanted something of hers.

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Going Back to China in Search of My Daughter’s Secret Past

Modern Love, New York Times

As an infant, my child was left on a bridge with a note pinned to her sweater. I thought finding it would provide us both with answers.

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To the Greek Who Helped Me Jump In

Letter to a Stranger, Off Assignment

You’d spotted us, thumbs out, on the shoulder of the road snaking along the Aegean. It was near sunset. I’d met Martyn only that morning, at a youth hostel in Athens.

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The Pandemic as a Liminal Space

Leaning Out

Given its assault on life, livelihood, and our collective psyche, the Covid pandemic easily qualifies as “the worst of times.” That said, as humans, we seem compelled to seek meaning and hope, to extract shape from the shambles.

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Dancing with my Daughter in the Middle of West 70th


Though I would never have uttered this aloud, I always believed myself invincible. My father, a doctor, lived to 99. His motto: genetics overcomes all. I thought I’d won that lottery until this crisis punctured my delusion. I’m told each day that my age gives the virus the edge in any potential skirmish, a threat made painfully real when my generous and amiable neighbor, a retired dentist, died of the illness last week.

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