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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • In “Love Me, Love My Book,” The Jewish Week‘s Editor/Publisher, Gary Rosenblatt, reports on his experience as participant and observer in the latest Jewish Book Council “Meet the Author” event.
  • A hearty mazal tov to the winners of the latest Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards (including my former poetry teacher, Matthew Lippman). Bonus: We can read the winning poems online.
  • A contemporary opera I don’t think I’ll be going to see.
  • In time for Father’s Day: Tablet and Marjorie Ingall present “The 13 Worst Jewish Fathers in Literature.”
  • And over on The Whole Megillah, you’ll find an interview with Michelle Caplan, Editor-in-Chief of Fig Tree Books. (You’ve seen FTB mentioned here on My Machberet before, but as a reminder, it’s “a new literary publishing house founded by Fredric Price, a successful entrepreneur in the orphan drug industry who wants to publish high quality fiction about the American Jewish experience (AJE).”)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Daniel Handler on I.B. Singer

    Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Isaac Bashevis Singer


    “Though Singer was an American writer, with a couple of National Book Awards to prove it, that doesn’t feel like the right nationality to put down on the Nobel list. Nor does Polish, which matches his birthplace. Jew is the word we’re looking for here. He’s not the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but he’s the first one to win it for writing in Yiddish, and we’re not going to see another one.”

    Source: Daniel Handler, “What the Swedes Read,” a recurring column in The Believer. The column on Singer appeared in the May 2014 issue, which I had the delight of thumbing through over the weekend.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


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

  • “A decade after its publication, Canadian author David Bezmozgis is turning his debut short story collection, ‘Natasha and Other Stories,’ into a film.”
  • The Well Versed blog chimes in with a dispatch from the Fourth International Writers Festival in Jerusalem.
  • Fathom interviews Philip Mendes regarding his new book, Jews and the Left: The Rise and Fall of a Political Alliance.
  • Read Hebrew? You may want to look into Granta Israel. Beth Kissileff has the background.
  • On my own weekend reading agenda: Saul Bellow’s “A Silver Dish,” now available on NewYorker.com.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Atar Hadari explains why we read the book of Ruth on Shavuot.
  • “The Rabbi’s Wife”: a short story by Robin Black.
  • In “Ex-Hasidic Writers Go Off the Path and Onto the Page,” Ezra Glinter explores “How OTD Literature Became Its Own Literary Genre.” (See the article for a definition of “OTD”.)
  • On my agenda: listening to this podcast featuring George Prochnik, talking about his new biography, The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World.
  • Judith Thurman reports on Philip Roth’s honorary degree from JTS.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • On my reading list: the latest issue of 614, the eZine from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Issue theme: “Jewish Women and Comics.”
  • Something else I didn’t quite get to focus on (yet) this busy week: “a newly reissued short story from the under-appreciated late writer” Shirley Faessler that “revives Jewish Toronto of the 1930s.” On Tablet.
  • Also on Tablet: a long piece about the events that are at the heart of a play I’ve written about, Motti Lerner’s “The Admission.”
  • The latest New Yorker fiction podcast features Joyce Carol Oates on Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl.”
  • Brief post about the inaugural Seminar on Jewish Story.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    From My Bookshelf: “The Hope,” by Faye Rapoport DesPres

    Faye Rapaport DesPres

    Faye Rapaport DesPres

    Sometimes I marvel over the literary connections that the Internet has brought into my life–and the many pages of beautiful, important writing to which they’ve led me. Case in point: I have yet to meet Faye Rapoport DesPres face-to-face. But I feel as though I know her, in part through our social-media exchanges, and in part through her memoiristic writing.

    Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Faye’s memoir-in-essays, Message from a Blue Jay: Love, Loss, and One Writer’s Journey Home (Buddhapuss Ink). The book, available this month, includes one essay that I wanted to spotlight for My Machberet‘s readers. I’m delighted that Faye agreed to answer my questions (especially since she also took the time to participate in another interview about the broader collection; that Q&A will appear in the next issue of The Practicing Writer).

    Faye Rapoport DesPres was born in New York City, and over the years she has lived in upstate New York, Colorado, England, Israel, and Massachusetts. Early in her career, Faye worked as a writer for environmental organizations that focused on protecting wildlife and natural resources. In 1999, after switching to journalism, she won a Colorado Press Association award as a staff writer for a Denver weekly newspaper, where she wrote news stories, features, and interviews. Faye’s freelance work has since appeared in The New York Times, Animal Life, Trail and Timberline, and a number of other publications.

    In 2010, Faye earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College’s Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program, where she studied creative nonfiction. Her personal essays, fiction, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Ascent, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Eleven Eleven, Fourth Genre, Hamilton Stone Review, Necessary Fiction, Platte Valley Review, Prime Number Magazine, Superstition Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Continue reading ›

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