This study discusses a diverse selection of Jewish women writers from the immigrants to the most contemporary, all of whom are concerned with issues of identity and many of whom have been critically neglected until now. The various components of identity - woman, American, Jew - all make separate claims on consciousness. Each, alone, is potentially definitive. These women look to the past, to history and tradition, to determine the present. All view themselves as 'strands of the cable' that binds old to new. Some see the need to strengthen the link, others to break it. Identity is defined, significantly, by how that connection is understood.