Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure Chest
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.

  • The New Yorker reports on Ansel Elkins’s hotel stay as winner of a residency awarded by Paris Review and the Standard East Village.
  • Good news for those who know Nantucket (or who think they do): There’s a Goodreads giveaway under way for John Vanderslice’s wonderful story collection, Island Fog. (I’ve had the opportunity to read the book in e-galley form, and it’s one I highly recommend.)
  • Author Mark Rubinstein’s post about reader-generated book reviews brought to mind Rebecca Klempner’s recent essay for Tablet. You’ll find ethical issues embedded in both pieces.
  • Saul Bellow’s Herzog was published 50 years ago. Andrew Furman recently revisited the novel (along with his students). Much to his surprise, he discovered a new perspective on Bellow and his book.
  • Adam Kirsch and Francine Prose reveal their favorite out-of-print books. What’s yours?
  • Happy weekend, everyone.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Nina Badzin explains why she doesn’t write about politics/Israel–and a few other things.
  • An interesting post by Michael Weingrad on Dan Simmons, “the major science fiction writer whose work most frequently focuses on Jews.” (h/t Mosaic magazine)
  • From the Jewish Ensemble Theatre in West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: “Though submissions are CLOSED for the 2014 play festival, we are currently taking submissions for the 2015 New Play Festival. Scripts should be submitted in hard copy only, along with a $10 processing fee payable to JET and a stamped self-addressed envelope if return is desired.” (h/t Theatre Funding Newsletter)
  • Eminent author Marilynne Robinson recently visited Israel. Beth Kissileff spoke with Robinson about her trip–and her views about the BDS movement.
  • I’ll admit it: I’m more than a little jealous of the 36 high school students mentioned here.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week, III

    More excerpts from noteworthy news items.

    Jodi Rudoren, “Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict” (The New York Times):
    “[T]he difference between roughly half the dead being combatants, in the Israeli version, or barely 10 percent, to use the most stark numbers on the other side, is wide enough to change the characterization of the conflict.”


    “The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.” Continue reading ›

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    Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: My New Job

    So, here’s the big news:
    You can also read the announcement on the Fig Tree Books website. And please, please, please: follow @FigTreeBks on Twitter. Thank you!

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    Words of the Week, II

    Another collection of noteworthy words:

    Shimon Ohayon, “No Jews = No Outrage” (The Times of Israel):
    “The feigned outrage on the streets of Europe is a peculiar cocktail of hypocrisy, ignorance and above all, hate.”

    Noa Tishby, “Artists Without Borders. Or Facts.” (Jewish Journal):
    “So if you prefer acting or partying to fact-checking that’s fine, but please just stick to that. With power (and millions of Twitter followers) comes at least some responsibility.”

    Jeffrey Goldberg, “What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?” (The Atlantic):
    “People wonder why Israelis have such a visceral reaction to Hamas. The answer is easy. Israel is a small country, and most of its citizens know someone who was murdered by Hamas in its extended suicide-bombing campaigns; and most people also understand that if Hamas had its way, it would kill them as well.” Continue reading ›

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