When William Daroff speaks, I listen. Thus, last week’s vacation reading included Einat Wilf‘s new e-book, Winning the War of Words: Essays on Zionism and Israel (edited by Daniel Rubinstein).
Prior to downloading and reading the e-book, I was not familiar with Wilf’s work (or, at least, did not clearly recall her byline). Formerly a member of the Israeli Knesset, she is a self-described “Roving Ambassador for Israel and Zionism, telling our story to a variety of audiences.” Judging by the essays in this collection, that’s good news for Israel and Zionism–and by extension, for all of us.
Since the book essentially compiles a number of Wilf’s published writings, I can point you directly to some of the essays that impressed me as especially cogent, insightful, and relevant to discussions and debates I’ve seen play out elsewhere. Continue reading ›
It isn’t every day that I’m inspired to purchase a single issue of a magazine, journal, or newspaper. I subscribe to a sufficient abundance of periodicals such that the tower of books on my nightstand at any moment is equaled by a nearly equally tall stack of periodicals.
But when I saw that World Literature Today‘s special May-August 2015 double issue included a feature on “New Hebrew Writing”–only a small sampling of which was available online–I went ahead and ordered a copy. And I’m glad that I did so.
For the most part. Continue reading ›
“The Butcher of Desire; or Imagining Philip Roth” is a “longform” piece by Sam Apple, recently published in Tablet magazine as part of Tablet‘s “original fiction” series. It is a brilliant piece of writing. I read it days ago, and I am still thinking about it.
Which made me wonder: What is it about this piece that I find so striking? How and why is this work so significant to me?
I’ve come up with five possible answers. Continue reading ›
Over on my other blog, I’m singing the praises of Michal Lemberger’s new collection After Abel and Other Stories. If you’re looking for a new book with which to celebrate Short Story Month (May!), you might consider this one. (For anyone consciously trying to “Read Women,” it’s an especially appropriate choice.)
Okay, so maybe this isn’t directly writing-related, but this week also brought me an iPhone upgrade! I leapfrogged over from my old iPhone4 to a snazzy 6! A lovely little quality-of-life upgrade, I must say. Including a noticeably improved camera. To wit: a photo snapped after a recent run in Central Park. How do you like it?
Dispatch from the Day Job
Last, but by no means least: Things are hopping over at my day job with Fig Tree Books. Just today, in fact, we’ve unveiled our fall 2015 list. You’ll see why I’m so excited about it when you read the announcement.
As per usual, it has been a busy time, and I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like to. But among the few books that I have managed to finish lately is one that still has me thinking: Michal Lemberger’s After Abel and Other Stories (Prospect Park Books).
I’d been looking forward to this book of short stories for months, ever since I read the piece titled “Lot’s Wife” in Lilith magazine. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in a Jewish-writing class myself that shared some parallels with Lemberger’s project in its approach.
So what is Lemberger’s project? In a recent post for the Jewish Book Council’s blog, she explained: Continue reading ›
Earlier this year, I shared one line from a poem by Lesléa Newman (“Sitting Shiva,” which I’d discovered thanks to Keshet/MyJewishLearning.com) as a “Sunday Sentence” on the Practicing Writing blog. Simultaneously, I ordered a copy of the collection in which that poem appears, I Carry My Mother, in which the poet recounts her mother’s dying and her own grief. But it took me until this week to sit down and actually read the book.
It is a searing collection. I dare anyone to read it without shedding tears at least once. (Maybe I suspected that would be the case, and maybe I needed some time to steel myself before engaging with the full collection.)
It is also a remarkably instructive volume for anyone interested in the practice of poetry. And since April is National Poetry Month, it seems appropriate to comment on this quality. Continue reading ›