Hanife was a quiet, simple woman, dutiful, humble and inoffensive.

Redressing historical grievances, righting intolerable wrongs, changing the tragic course

of Jewish history — all this she gladly left to Dr.

Shirazi to discuss and debate during the dinners she prepared.

He made the noise and had the opinions, she contented

herself with fixing the meals and feeding Ben, Esther and

Ezra and enjoying, while it lasted, the harmonious family life.

Hanife’s world consisted of recipes on index cards, several thousand

thank-you notes, and a voluminous file of tedious knitting instructions.

Her responsibility was cooking and planning the next day’s chores.


Paraphrases from the novel The Anatomy Lesson by Philip Roth.