Shalom Life | March 01, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Lesléa Newman: I am Jewish. I am Gay. I am an Animal Lover

Newman funnels her love for animals into her children’s books.

By: SL Exclusive

Published: March 2nd, 2012 in Culture » Books » Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: Lesléa Newman: I am Jewish. I am Gay. I am an Animal Lover

Shalom Life is proud to present our first Jewish LGBTQ series. We asked 10 public figures (ranging from comedians and actors to children’s book authors and musicians) to complete the following sentence:

I am Jewish. I am Gay. I am _________________

In the blank space, each participant has placed a personality trait, hobby, profession, descriptive adjective, or an interesting tidbit of information that describes an element of their being. Additionally, they have personally written a paragraph explaining their choice and how that choice defines them.

Religion and sexuality are integral to our self-identification, but they define us just as much as our interests, personality, career choices, philanthropic work, and talents.

Enjoy our series and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Day 3- Lesléa Newman

I am Jewish. I am Gay. I am an Animal Lover

Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, you name it, they all capture my heart. When I was growing up I had a cairn terrier named Angus, a dead ringer for Toto, who was my constant companion. I was heartbroken to leave him when I went off to college. Since I have lived in small apartments most of my adult life, I became a cat person by default, and have had many, including one old orange tom who lived to be 22 years old. I have funneled my love of animals into writing children's books, including THE BEST CAT IN THE WORLD, CATS, CATS, CATS!, DOGS, DOGS, DOGS!, and HACHIKO WAITS. Currently my spouse and I live with one cat named Princess Sheba Darling who allows us to wait on her hand and foot. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Lesléa Newman is the author of 64 books for readers of all ages including the short story collection, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, the novel, THE RELUCTANT DAUGHTER, the poetry collection, STILL LIFE WITH BUDDY, and the children's book, HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation. A former poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, currently she teaches in Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program. OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD, a poetry collection that explores how the murder of Matthew Shepard impacted the world, will be published by Candlewick Books in the fall of 2012.

For more info, go to www.lesleanewman.com or to order a copy of Newman’s popular ‘Hachiko Waits’, click here
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