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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Mark your calendars for an extraordinary event at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on January 29 (yes, it will be live-streamed): “An International Tribute to Elie Wiesel: A Community Reading of Night.” From the announcement: “Featuring Elisha Wiesel, Andre Aciman, Ambassador Dani Dayan – Consul General of Israel in New York, French Ambassador François Delattre, Tovah Feldshuh, Joel Grey, Sheldon Harnick, Jessica Hecht, Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, David Hyde Pierce, Bill T. Jones, Daniel and Nina Libeskind, Sheila Nevins, Itzhak Perlman, Ron Rifkin, Geraldo Rivera, Daryl Roth, Consul General of Germany Brita Wagener, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and many others.”
  • Mazal tov to the latest Sydney Taylor Book Award honorees recognized by the Association of Jewish Libraries. “Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.”
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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • If you haven’t yet caught the new PBS American Masters documentary “By Sidney Lumet,” you can watch the film online until Feb. 2. (I recommend that you do. Strongly.)
  • The Theo Bikel Yiddish-Into-English International Poetry Translation Contest is currently accepting submissions for the 2017 prize. Cash prizes and publication. No entry fee. Deadline: March 20, 2017 (received).
  • The Jewish Advocate in Boston has “an immediate opening for a full-time news reporter and community editor.”
  • From the department of better-late-than-never: I’ve finally read Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, and I’ve shared a few thoughts over on the Fig Tree Books blog.
  • And please mark your calendars for this literary event, happening at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (and online) next month.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past five years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2016.

    Reviewing my reading for 2016 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish.)

    But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.

    Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them (most recent first).  I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library), G (gift), or FTB (for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor OR as part of the ongoing series of spotlights posts on past winners of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award). Continue reading ›

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


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

  • “I didn’t set out to write a political novel, but it seems inevitable that any writing about the Middle East will elicit strong responses from people.” So notes Leah Kaminsky, whose novel The Waiting Room is set largely in Haifa, in an interview on the Lilith magazine blog.
  • “Fictionalizing my family’s [Holocaust] stories—and adding magical realism—set me free. And set my imagination on fire.” So explains Helen Maryles Shankman in a reflective, craft-centered post for Writer Unboxed.
  • J-Job alert: JewishBoston.com is hiring an Editorial Content Specialist.
  • TBR: a translation, by Steven M. Kennedy, of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s The Genius of Judaism. Coming in January 2017.
  • And last, but not least: the latest Fig Tree Books newsletter, edited by yours truly and featuring some superb pre-publication praise for Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year (coming in March 2017) and other choice information.
  • Shabbat shalom! And one quick note: I’ll be taking a bit of a break from this blog while I embark on some travels. Expect to see me back here sometime the week after next. Thank you for your patience!

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • On Hevria: a terrific piece, “On Being an Older Single,” by Rochel Spangelthal. (I think the wisdom within applies to those of us singles considerably older than the author!)
  • Over on the Lilith blog: a gorgeous essay by Rachel Hall, “I Don’t Want My Daughter to Have My Holocaust Nightmares.”
  • Confession: Rebecca Sonkin’s “Chris Kraus and the K-Word” (Los Angeles Review of Books), is basically my introduction to Kraus’s work (and its treatment of Jews and Jewishness).
  • Beautiful poem by Stacey Zisook Robinson for the holiday of Tisha B’Av, which begins Saturday evening.
  • Another tribute to Elie Wiesel, this time from Francine Klagbrun, who focuses on Wiesel’s “soft spot for writers.” (via The Jewish Week)
  • As mentioned above, this weekend brings the holiday of Tisha B’Av; it’s my understanding that greetings are actually omitted on this day of mourning. But I can still wish you a Shabbat Shalom today!

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    Words of the Week

    “He was at heart a writer, and his words, including those in Moment‘s pages, have left an enduring and lasting impression on the world. He will be greatly missed.”

    Nadine Epstein, “Moment Mourns Cofounder Elie Wiesel”

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