In Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff between Paris and Tel-Aviv, Paula J. Birnbaum offers readers a deeply researched, beautifully illustrated, and engagingly written biography of a cosmopolitan and once-renowned sculptor who deliberately resisted categorization. In the world of art, Orloff (1888-1968) became an outsize figure with a multi-faceted hybrid identity; she was tenacious, resilient, and enterprising, overcoming multiple historical obstacles (ranging from pogroms to two world wars and persecution of Jews) that not only disrupted her professional development as an artist but also threatened her very survival. Orloff’s strong emphasis on motherhood as central to her artistic expression is particularly noteworthy, as is her fascination with the female body. This book also reminds readers of the relative marginality in Paris of the subsequently famous circles of émigré artists in which Orloff traveled (including Picasso, Modigliani, and Chagall, who hailed from Spain, Italy, Russia, and Palestine) and the difficulties of “defining” French art during the first half of the twentieth century. Particularly noteworthy are Birnbaum’s efforts to ground Orloff’s extraordinary life and ultimately successful career in historical context and to probe the meanings implied in her sculptures and drawings.