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From My Bookshelf: The Assistant, by Bernard Malamud

UnknownLast June, I shared a short list of books I hoped to read over the summer. Bernard Malamud’s 1957 novel The Assistant was on that list, because, as I explained “I should have read it long ago.”

Alas, the summer ended without my meeting the goal. But there’s a good postscript: I did manage to read the book this past week.

It’s phenomenal. The edition I’d purchased happens to include an introduction by Jonathan Rosen, and that introduction drew me in from its first two paragraphs: Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

“‘I was struck by how much at the conference could easily have happened at Harvard Hillel with no resistance whatsoever,’ Jonah Steinberg, Harvard Hillel’s rabbi and director, told JTA via email. ‘We only refuse to host programs, events, and speakers whose aim is to promote the severing of our essential connection with Israel, which is the destructive goal of the BDS movement.'”
“After Rejecting BDS Ban, Open Hillel Holds First Conference,” by Batya Ungar-Sargon (JTA)

“Here are the ways in which technology can prevent you from being killed by Hamas:”
“Two Minutes,” by Kevin Haworth (Proximity)

“What started with anti-Israel fliers moved to dirty looks, murmured insults and rising tensions in the Hillel Club’s shared office. It culminated last week in a ‘die-in’ in the school’s New Building on West 58th Street so hostile that some Hillel Club members feared they would be jumped as they left the school.”
“‘Hostile Environment’ For John Jay Jewish Students,” by Amy Sara Clark (The Jewish Week)

“So, here are seven reasons why the Palestinian analogy to the Black historical struggle for freedom is hopelessly flawed (and down right offensive).”
“7 Reasons Why the Palestinian Crisis & the Black Struggle for Freedom Are Absolutely Nothing Alike,” by Dumisani Washington (The Times of Israel)

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Posted this week: the October Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly roundup of Jewish literary links from across the blogosphere. This month’s carnival is hosted by Diana Bletter at The Best Chapter.
  • “The Best Books of 5774″–according to Judith Basya/heeb magazine.
  • News from my job at Fig Tree Books–this week brought our inaugural newsletter. Read it! Subscribe!
  • Tablet magazine is hiring.
  • On JewishFiction.Net: the story of Cain and Abel, told by their mother.
  • Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!

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    Words of the Week

    “Like all people without land or roots, I am obsessed by my prehistory. And my prehistory is the troubled and shameful period of the Occupation. I always felt, for obscure familial reasons, that I was born of this nightmare.”

    Source: 2014 Nobel Prize literature winner Patrick Modiano, quoted by Benjamin Ivry in The Forward

    PatrickModianoJackets

    (I have “borrowed” the accompanying image from the New York Public Library. I hope they won’t mind!)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • A bit about the latest Nobel Prize winner for literature: Patrick Modiano.
  • And a bit about a project I’m involved with over at Fig Tree Books (I have to tell you–the response has been overwhelming!)
  • Adam Kirsch on new “Holocaust novels” by Howard Jacobson and Martin Amis.
  • A hearty Mazal Tov to the latest winners of the Moment Magazine/Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest.
  • And another award-winning writer–a young one–gives “a shout-out to Betty Friedan.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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