This past week came the very excellent news that poet and professor Rick Chess has joined the blogging team over at “Good Letters,” the blog of Image Journal. Go read his first post, “Torah in My Mouth,” and look forward, as I am, to his future contributions.
Kenneth Sherman’s appreciation of Yuri Suhl’s One Foot in America (originally published in 1950), reminded me that Sherman’s own What the Furies Bring remains on my nightstand, still waiting to be read.
I’ve been a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm for many seasons, in part because my dad and his parents and grandmother were neighbors of Larry David’s family in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, way back when. Also, my dad is occasionally mistaken for Larry David himself! The show always makes me laugh, and this season, which began Sunday night, is no exception. Check out this column from The Forward, focusing on the show’s particularly Jewish qualities. (Bonus: some down-home NYC footage.)
On a much more serious note: Adam Kirsch has yet again added a book to my tbr list: “There is a double meaning in the subtitle of René Blum and the Ballets Russes: In Search of a Lost Life (Oxford, $29.95), the new biography by Judith Chazin-Bennahum. The life of René Blum was lost in the Holocaust: Like tens of thousands of French Jews, he was deported from Drancy, the internment camp in Paris, to Auschwitz, where he died in 1942. But it was the way he lived, not the way he died, that makes him such an elusive presence even in his own biography.”
Don’t forget that the next Jewish Book Council Twitter Book Club is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 20. Featured title: Deborah Lipstadt’s The Eichmann Trial. Lipstadt will participate in the chat.
I love this piece by Erica Lyons. May it be a call to action for programs and those who run them–including programs for Jewish journalism–to recognize the potential contributions of those of us Jews who–horrors!–have passed our fortieth birthdays.
Thanks for the Center for Jewish History for posting a video of its May 18 “Evening with Philip Roth.”
On Wednesday, the Jewish Book Council’s Twitter Book Club convened to discuss David Bezmozgis’s novel, The Free World. Here’s the transcript.
Meantime, the JBC has announced the title for its next Twitter Book Club: Deborah Lipstadt’s The Eichmann Trial.
I was deeply saddened to read of the death of Zev Birger, a man described by The New York Times as “an official in the young state of Israel who later revived and then led the Jerusalem International Book Fair, turning it into a major event on the literary calendar,” from injuries he sustained when struck by a motorcycle. Mr. Birger, 85, was a Holocaust survivor.
I was lucky enough to attend the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature awards ceremony last week, so I heard Deborah Lipstadt’s speech when it was delivered. But thanks to the Jewish Book Council, you can now read the text of Lipdstadt’s remarks, too.
A.B. Yehoshua praises Haifa and reminds me that I want to spend more time there.
The Boston Bibliophile reviews and recommendsThe Last Brother, a novel by Nathacha Appanah (trans. Geoffrey Strachan). My own review was filed a couple of weeks ago; when it’s published, you’ll see that I’m 100 percent in agreement.
Hurry up and read David Bezmozgis’s novel, The Free World, before next week’s Twitter Book Club session for it.
You may have heard that Edith Pearlman is the latest recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction. I’ve admired Pearlman’s work for a long time–I’m eager to read her newest book, Binocular Vision–and I was thrilled to see my own book discussed alongside hers (and Laura Furman’s) in this review by Rabbi Rachel Esserman.
Erika Dreifus is the author of Quiet Americans: Stories (Last Light Studio), which is an ALA Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding Jewish literature. Quiet Americans was also named a Notable Book (The Jewish Journal) and a Top Small-Press Book (Shelf Unbound). Erika is a contributing editor for Fiction Writers Review and an advisory board member for J Journal: New Writing on Justice, and she wrote the section on “Choosing a Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing” for the second edition of Tom Kealey’s Creative Writing MFA Handbook (Continuum, 2008). Erika is also the editor/publisher of The Practicing Writer, a free (and popular) e-newsletter featuring advice, opportunities, and resources on the craft and business of writing for fictionists, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction.
For nearly seven years, subscribers have welcomed The Practicing Writer, a free monthly e-newsletter that helps fiction writers, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction with their craft and business. Always listing paying publication opportunities, always announcing contests and other opportunities that don’t charge entry/application fees. Click here [HYPERLINK TO http://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/ ) to learn more, click here [HYPERLINK TO http://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/current/) to read the latest issue online, or go ahead and subscribe right now (and get a free writing-contest guide!).