Caroline Goldberg Igra
I grew up in Philadelphia and was educated in the United States (Brown, U. of Michigan and NYU), completing a doctorate in Art History and embarking on a career incorporating both teaching and curating in New York City. My path seemed relatively clear until I met an Israeli man. I married him. Things were no longer so clear. Fortunately, moving to Israel did not necessitate any major change in professional direction and I was able to continue my career as an academic, contributing to my field through the publication of new research and continuing my passion for teaching as an assistant professor at Haifa University. Along the way, I was fortunate to be enlisted by the grandnephew of Polish artist, J.D. Kirszenbaum, in restoring his legacy to the annals of early twentieth century art. Active in the Bauhaus, 1920s Berlin and the School of Paris, the artist’s traces had, to date, been buried under the ashes of the Holocaust. This project resulted in both local and European exhibitions, some forthcoming, and spawned my first book, a monograph on the artist that was chosen as one of Slate Magazine’s Best Books in 2013.
Relocating to the opposite side of the world, facing new challenges of integration and cultural adaptation, I began to expand my interest to the world around me. Ironically, it was my academic focus on the immigrant experience of Italian artists in Paris in the late nineteenth century which led me to begin writing about the similar experience of English speakers in contemporary Israel—shifting my focus from the comfort of polenta enjoyed by the former uprooted souls to that of classic chocolate chip cookies favored by the latter! The blog that emerged, called Stuck in the Middle, picked up by the Jerusalem Post and later transferred to The Times of Israel, eventually blossomed into a novel titled Count to a Thousand.
Using real life experiences to inform and give depth to fictional characters started a whole new chapter in my writing career, leading me into entirely uncharted territory. Albeit sometimes a challenge, I’ve devoted the last few years to exploring themes with which I’m fascinated, the concept of home, family dynamics, human relationships, art and our world, within both pieces of creative nonfiction and further fiction writing.
My second novel, From Where I Stand, launching in December 2021, reflects a lifelong fascination with mother-daughter relationships. The one I’m presently in the midst of creating explores the way that the visual arts can affect our lives.
Although I live in Tel Aviv (after more than twenty years in Caesarea), I spend a great deal of time in my beloved Philadelphia and feel fortunate to have two homes. Beyond my larger writing projects, I occupy myself with all things to do with the English language (teaching, editing, advising), am a reigning Israeli triathlete champion, and the devoted mother to three young adult children currently forging their own individual paths forward.