Last weekend, I journeyed to Columbus, Ohio, for a family Bat Mitzvah. There, I had the pleasure of spending time with Werner Frank, whose astounding genealogical research includes some of my own family history (on my dad’s side).
Werner, who emigrated from Germany as a child in 1937, has recently published a book focusing on a specific strand of this research: the story of the October 1940 deportation of Jews from the Baden region of Germany to Gurs, an internment camp in France. From Gurs, many of these Jews were eventually deported to Auschwitz. This helps explain the book’s full title: The Curse of Gurs: Way Station to Auschwitz.
The story is particularly painful because so many of Werner’s relatives were among these Baden Jews (as were some of mine). Moreover, Werner remains acutely aware of his good fortune in having left Baden before 1940 – a realization that I similarly share concerning my grandparents, who were also Baden-born.
I purchased a Kindle copy of Werner’s book while we were in Columbus; Werner was kind enough to then gift me with a print copy. As an historian, I was wowed from the outset by Dr. Michael Berenbaum‘s introduction: Continue reading ›
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish literary news from around the Web.
Lots of great book coverage in The Forward this week (including, if I may be so immodest as to point it out, my review of a new English translation of Hans Keilson’s first novel).
Superb essay by Etgar Keret (translated by Sondra Silverston) on Keret’s “new house in the old country.”
Michael Lowenthal has a new novel out, and he talks about it in a wide-ranging interview for The Rumpus that touches on “American politics, gay parenting, and Jewish literature.”
Because my early childhood summers were spent at Brighton Beach; because my life, too, is so much about passing stories along; because I, too, treasure moments spent in the company of my mother and my niece–for all of these reasons I loved Jami Attenberg’s post for The Prosen People. (See also Ron Charles’s enthusiastic review of Attenberg’s new novel.)
Finally, The Wall Street Journal ran a nice piece this week spotlighting The Blue Card, the organization to which I am donating portions of the profits from sales of my story collection, Quiet Americans.
My paternal grandfather’s parents. Their history–and questions I’ve always had about that history–helped generate my story “Matrilineal Descent.”
This past weekend I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, for a family Bat Mitzvah.
Exactly five years ago, I also traveled to Columbus, also for a Bat Mitzvah (celebrating the elder sister of this weekend’s star). These are my cousin Nancy’s daughters; Nancy is a cousin through my paternal grandfather (her grandmother and my grandfather were siblings, children of the couple in the photograph to the left). So their ancestors, too, are part of the history behind my story collection, Quiet Americans, particularly in the case of the book’s second story, “Matrilineal Descent.”
The visit five years ago inspired my prose poem, “Diaspora,” which I hope you’ll revisit. I thought of “Diaspora” again this weekend, when Nancy mentioned that family members had traveled from 11 states (and from Brazil and Canada) to witness this milestone in the Midwest.
And I’m hoping that another piece of writing will emerge, someday, from something very special about this second Bat Mitzvah in Columbus. Continue reading ›
Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee competitions/contests, paying submission calls, and jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction).
News from Robert Lee Brewer, who edits a slew of books for the Writer’s Digest folks: “I want to announce that we’re planning to put together a new Market Book: 2014 Guide to Indie Publishing. This guide will be loaded with listings for self-publishing companies, freelance editors, freelance designers (books, e-books, and websites), and great expert advice on the business of indie publishing. This is where you may enter the picture. We need pitches for articles that would be relevant to people looking to self-publish books, whether in print, digitally, audio, or some other crazy new-fangled way.” (I apologize for getting this to you so late: Pitches are due Wednesday, October 24. Good luck to all!)
I wish I’d had the chance to apply for this one! “The Posen Foundation is pleased to announce the Posen Society of Fellows, which recognizes eight outstanding doctoral students and fiction writers from around the world. Fellows will be awarded $40,000 over the course of two years and invited to attend an annual meeting led by senior scholars and writers. The Fellowship supports doctoral students who are writing their dissertations on modern Jewish history and culture, and fiction writers working on a Jewish-themed novel or short story collection. Eligible scholars must have completed their comprehensive exams before the award date; eligible writers should not yet have published their first book.” No application fee. Deadline: January 13, 2012. (via @NaomiDanis)
Attention, Virginia poets (defined as those born in or currently residing in Virginia). It’s time for submissions for this year’s Graybeal-Gowen Prize from Shenandoah and the Virginia Poetry Center. This is an annual prize of $500 (plus publication) for a single poem. No entry fee. Deadline: November 15, 2012.
Next, something for the Georgians among us: Creative Loafing‘s 2013 Fiction Contest has as its theme “The Meaning of Life.” Cash prizes ($500/$100/$50) and publication for the winners. No entry fee. Deadline: November 16, 2012. (via CRWROPPS-B)
And an opportunity for our Canadian friends: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA) “seeks to support a female Canadian writer (poet, novelist, storyteller, scholar) as its resident critic for a calendar year. The aim of the residency is to foster vital criticism that promotes public awareness of women’s literary and critical presence in Canadian letters. Specifically, the critic-in-residence will work on critical essays and/or book reviews and submit them to one or more Canadian review venues (print or web)….The residency is virtual, so the writer will be free to work from home.” Stipend: $3,000. No application fee. Deadline: November 1, 2012. (via fundsforwriters.com)
From WritersWeekly.com: “We’re out of features! We pay $60 for around 600 words; non-exclusive electronic rights only. Our guidelines are here: http://www.writersweekly.com/index-markets.htm.”
“We need a full-time managing editor at The Sun, a nonprofit, ad-free magazine in its thirty-ninth year of publication. This position is in our editorial office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.”
“The College of Humanities at the University of Arizona is seeking exceptionally well-qualified applicants for the position of Executive Director of the Poetry Center, one of the nation’s leading centers for the study and celebration of poetry.”
Want to check out some recent teaching-job announcements? Keep reading! Continue reading ›