Delicatessen is a signed and numbered limited-edition (150) single signature book with offset printed text, and hand-colored illustrations. Originally created for an exhibition at Smedley’s bookstore in Ithaca New York, in 1982, it was featured in the #5 issue (Fall 2002) of Nashim, Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues  where I wrote, “In Delicatessen, I confront the peculiar convergence of death with food that sometimes makes the atmosphere at a shiva (the gathering of family and friends in a house of mourning) seem raucous and party-like and, paradoxically, full of life.”





The text reads:
On the bright morning that my grandmother, whom I loved, died, we gathered in my grandfather’s Bronx apartment while men from the funeral home came with a zippered bag to take her away.
After the funeral we sent out for lunch, platters of cold cuts, and while everyone prepared their sandwiches of turkey, corned beef, roast beef and pastrami, with mustard or mayonnaise, my mouth betrayed me with an unaccountable grin.
Embarrassed, I went out into the hall where my smiles became audible. Laughter shook me until, finally, I stifled myself quiet and could re-enter the apartment to join the mourners eating their lunch.
Each time another relative arrived – my grandmother’s grown sons, their wives – my grandfather took them to the bedroom and showed them, telling them again how he’d woken up in the morning to find her already cold.
I watched the others in the living room, napkins on their laps, still eating their delicatessen, and heard his story and the repeated rounds of grief from the bedroom. This struck me as hilarious.
My mouth! An intolerable smile! And each time, I escaped to the drab, darkly painted hallway of the apartment building where I could laugh, and laugh, and laugh.