Danila Botha’s new book of short fiction wants to break the mold of Jewish Orthodoxy

Danila Botha is the author of "Things That Cause Inappropriate Happiness", a collection of short stories that came out April 2024.

Danila Botha wants you to know something about her writing: it’s not autobiographical. She pulls ideas and themes from real life, from the media and history, from current affairs and what she sees in the world. She is not personally a glitter-strewn closeted lesbian Orthodox woman, nor is she a drug addict who once met Anne Frank in a dream. But these are the kinds of concepts—distinctly Jewish stories with shades of halachic heterodoxy—that are packed into Things That Cause Inappropriate Happiness, her new collection of short stories, released April 2024.

Botha joins The CJN’s arts podcast, Culturally Jewish, to discuss her new collection and offer a glimpse into life as an openly Jewish author in an industry that has become infamously inhospitable to Jewish authors.


Culturally Jewish is hosted by Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Our producer is Michael Fraiman, and our theme music is by Sarah Segal-Lazar. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.