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Isabel Kaplan
Isabel Kaplan is a writer and recent Harvard graduate ('12). Her first novel, the Los Angeles Times bestselling Hancock Park, was published in June 2009 by HarperCollins.

Entries by Isabel Kaplan

Jews Without God

(4) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 9:00 AM

The Pew Research Center recently released a new survey of American Jews, and its findings indicate a trend of decreasing religiousness among American Jews, and in particular, among my generation -- the 'Millennials.' These findings have sparked a lot of concern and discussion because of its potential implications...

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'Senator Ted Cruz, Will You Please Go Now!'

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 3:47 PM

Hours into his 21-hour-plus speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz gave a reading of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

It was an ironic choice, given that Cruz was arguing against implementing Obamacare and the message of Green Eggs and Ham is "don't be so quick...

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Cuba and the State Sponsors of Terrorism List

(21) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 10:11 AM

Every year, by April 30, the secretary of state presents to Congress the annual Country Reports on Terrorism.

A central component of this report is the list of countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism -- the countries that pose the greatest threats.

Currently, there are four countries...

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Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Me: Our Trips to Cuba

(56) Comments | Posted April 13, 2013 | 3:23 PM

I have just returned from two weeks in Cuba, and am now convinced that America's sanctions against Cuba (as governed by the Trading With the Enemy Act) are not only outdated and ineffective, they're exacerbating the difficulties faced by countless innocent Cubans -- Cubans who are not in any way...

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The Four Questions of Miriam

(21) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 1:17 PM

The name "Miriam" stems from the Hebrew word for "bitter" (mar), and Miriam has every right to feel that way.

"Miriam who?" you might ask?

My point exactly.

I'm talking about the biblical Israelite heroine and prophetess, without whom Moses never would have been born and the Israelites would...

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Tricking, Treating, and Politicking

(1) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 4:35 PM

If you are hoping to combine your love of pagan holidays and a more unusual take on politics, this is the year to do it!

This is not, of course, a new idea. There are sure to be as many people outfitted as the President or Governor...

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Classic Literature Isn't Dead: No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

(5) Comments | Posted June 3, 2012 | 4:42 PM

THIS JUST IN: Contemporary writers are no longer influenced by classic literature -- or so claim a team of mathematicians from Dartmouth and Wisconsin in a recently published paper entitled, "Quantitative patterns of stylistic influence in the evolution of literature."

But, aspiring writers, don't be fooled: This study...

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How (Not) to Write a Sex Scene

(26) Comments | Posted December 2, 2011 | 2:10 PM

The nominees for Literary Review's annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award have been announced. The Bad Sex in Fiction award was established in 1993 by the magazine's then editor, Auberon Waugh, in order to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual...

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One Novel, 30 Days

(4) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 9:22 AM

Writing is like sex: The best way to learn is by doing. Studying other people's techniques can be helpful -- but only to a certain extent. At a certain point, you have to grab your preferred medium and dive in. Your first experience will probably not be very satisfying. You...

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Not in Someone Else's Words

(1) Comments | Posted October 22, 2011 | 4:15 PM

The distinguished literary scholar Marjorie Perloff is upset with me. She has written and published multiple responses to my recent article, "In Someone Else's Words," which I published here on The Huffington Post as well as in The Crimson, in which I criticized Professor Kenneth Goldsmith's...

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In Someone Else's Words

(17) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 2:03 PM

The number of writers who repurpose other writers' words and call it legitimate original artwork (not to mention the number of advocates for such a practice) is -- very disconcertingly -- on the rise.

Kenneth Goldsmith, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, is a vocal advocate of the practice....

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Growing Up with Rape

(12) Comments | Posted March 29, 2011 | 12:03 PM

I can't remember a time when I didn't know about rape. And I can't remember how I learned. I just know it was there, always there. Being raped altered and shaped my mother's identity, and I always knew that.

When I was nine or 10, maybe 11, and I...

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Why We Should Read "Soft Pornography"

(21) Comments | Posted September 21, 2010 | 9:00 AM

Slaughterhouse-Five has been removed from the English curriculum in a Missouri school district because of its inappropriateness. Score one for censorship. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson's award-winning young adult novel about a teenager struggling with the aftermath of rape, has also come under attack for what one man calls the "soft...

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Looking for a Harvard Man?

(16) Comments | Posted September 1, 2010 | 2:53 PM

"Hi, my name is [Insert Name Here], and I went to Harvard. Want to have drinks/dinner/sex?"

If you're a guy who wants to use your Harvard degree as a way to pick up women or a woman who wants to meet rich and successful Harvard grads, there's a brand new...

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Harvard's Alcohol Amnesty Policy

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 11:43 AM

As this year's high school seniors choose colleges, parents might be surprised to learn that Harvard, Yale, and other elite schools have more permissive attitudes toward underage drinking than many others--and alcohol-related hospitalization rates are rising. Is it smart policy or reckless negligence?

Smart policy, I think.

Check out

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Must Love Dogs

(22) Comments | Posted February 19, 2010 | 4:22 PM

This post is dedicated to Mr. Hershey Kaplan, born April 4, 1997.

When I was six years old, what I wanted more than anything else in the world was a dog.

My parents were hesitant. My parents had never had dogs, had never raised a puppy. They told me to...

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American Ignorance

(15) Comments | Posted July 13, 2009 | 12:28 PM

Norma and Alejandro immigrated to the United States from El Salvador over ten years ago. They have three children, all of whom are younger than twelve. Norma works at night as a custodian for Harvard University, and Alejandro has devoted a lot of his time, recently, to dealing with newly...

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(15) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 5:20 PM

Note to my generation: this exhibitionism has gone too far. On Facebook, we share personal details with hundreds (or thousands) of "friends." By simply logging on to my Facebook home page, I can see where you went last night, what group of friends you were with, what shirt you...

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Are Fertilized Eggs People?

(77) Comments | Posted February 19, 2009 | 9:36 AM

On Wednesday, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill saying that fertilized eggs have all of the rights of a human being. The bill defines any organism containing a single human cell as a human being.

In other words, abortion could be charged as murder....

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Jim Kim for Global AIDS Change

(2) Comments | Posted February 16, 2009 | 10:49 PM

Now that President Obama has asked Mark Dybul, who served as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator since 2006, to step down, who will succeed him? I hope he taps Harvard Medical School professor Jim Yong Kim.

It's a crucial position, overseeing all international AIDS programming and funding, including the President's...

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