Each September, the Jewish calendar begins anew with Rosh Hashanah. It is followed by ten Days of Awe, a period of reflection and repentance. The High Holy Days close with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On this day Jews fast and ask God to forgive their sins. Reminded of human suffering by the day’s hunger pangs, they also pardon all who have wronged them in the past year, and pray all those that they have wronged will grant the same forgiveness. The absolution of these worldly conflicts is given the same significance as prayers offered up to heaven, and only after this cycle is complete may the new year begin.

Scrub by Emily Nemens

Scrub is collection of stories written in and about these holy days. Taken out of the context of Judaism, the stories explore the more universal process of atonement. A homeless man walking across Providence, a pregnant sixteen-year-old cruising around Seattle, an Italian ballet dancer performing on New York’s premier stage, and a boy driving across the country to save his best friend…each has been dealt a shattering blow, and each is seeking the forgiveness that will set them on the path to being whole again. Wrestling with transgression and repentance, the characters of Scrub try to wash away their wrongs by extreme measure, eventually turning to acceptance and finally finding hope.

Three of the four stories in Scrub were written during the author’s first month as writer-in-residence at the Kerouac Project of Orlando in September 2007. The fourth, Blue-eyed Apples, is the prologue to her first novel and the piece she submitted to the Kerouac Project’s selection committee. The author illustrated the collection as well.

About the Author
Emily Nemens is the Fall 2007 writer in residence at the Kerouac House. Always striving to bring visual arts, design, and literature together in a compelling way, she has written and illustrated a graphic novel about the 2004 Madrid train bombings (on-view at, edited a book for the Education department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and an excerpt of her first novel, Blue-eyed Apples, was selected for The L Magazine’s 2007 Literary Upstart Competition. She grew up in Seattle and graduated from Brown University in 2005. She now lives in Brooklyn, where she works as a writer, designer, painter, and occasional musician

by Emily Nemens Donation: $15.00