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Jeremy grew up about ten minutes away from the George Washington Bridge, in a modern Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey; went to Harvard, where, upbringing notwithstanding, read authors like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Philip Roth for the first time and got hooked; went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and wrote about Hebrew and Yiddish literature – and while there, wrote the libretto for an opera that played in Boston and a movie that screened at the Cannes market (you can still find it bouncing around the lower cable channels late at night); came back to America and took a job at Columbia, where he now teaches about, among other things, Dostoevsky, Mel Brooks, graphic novels, and Sholem Aleichem. He used to write a column for the Christian Science Monitor on TV and movies that was recognized, a few years back, by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.