This essay introduces readers to Mina Loy's unpublished novel Goy Israels, written in the 1930s, an autobiographical portrait of a young half-Jewish half-English artist and writer. The novel draws on sources as diverse as its protagonist, from contemporary racialist scientism to John Bunyan. Loy considered her self-portraits to be part of the modernist impulse to make it new and this one melds science and art, autobiography and experimentation, allegory and ethnography. Feinstein argues that Loy pioneers complex narrative forms in Goy Israels to reflect and better understand the complexities of human nature—especially the enigmatic aspects of modern Jewish identity.


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