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Shana Tova

I’ll be taking a bit of a break from blogging for Rosh Hashanah. Here’s wishing you all a very sweet and happy New Year.

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(And if you happen to be looking for some reading ideas, check out my article on “Noteworthy Books for the New Year” in the Jewish Journal.)

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


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

  • Rebecca Klempner reviews this past (Jewish) year and realizes: “I’ve published more in the last year than in the prior 38 years of my life combined.” And a few other things.
  • I’ve had an e-galley of David Bezmozgis’s new novel on my Kindle for awhile, but I finally started reading it this week. Once again, an Adam Kirsch review is the motivating force.
  • It happened this week: the latest Jewish Book Carnival, hosted by the Jewish Book Council.
  • Is Leonard Cohen your man? If so, you must read Ezra Glinter’s “A Song of Love and Memory for Leonard Cohen at 80.”
  • Coming very soon: Monday will bring big doings for those of us at Fig Tree Books. We’ll be officially launching ourselves and announcing our inaugural list of novels. I hope that you’re already following Fig Tree on Twitter and/or Facebook.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    On “Holocaust Fiction”

    cover19_240x3281ruled46In the new (fall) issue of the Jewish Review of Books, I respond to a piece published in the summer issue.

    My response begins:

    “As an avid reader of novels and short stories, and as the author of a story collection myself, I am always pleased to see fiction discussed within the JRB’s pages. But in the case of Amy Newman Smith’s “Killer Backdrop” (Summer 2014), my initial pleasure was tempered by an increasing sense of discomfort.

    In part, the trouble stemmed from my difficulty understanding the exact focus of Ms. Smith’s opprobrium. Does she object to all “new works of Holocaust fiction” because they are not nonfiction? Fair enough. Some people don’t ascribe any value to Holocaust-related fiction; I am not among them. But are there any examples of Holocaust-related fiction that might meet with Ms. Smith’s approval? Novels by the late ArnoŠt Lustig? Cynthia Ozick’s now-classic “The Shawl”?”

    You can find the rest of my response–plus the original article and Amy Newman Smith’s response-to-my-response–on the JRB website.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Coming in 2016: a new book by Jeffrey Goldberg, on “the Middle East through the prism of President Obama’s years in power.”
  • On my more immediate TBR list: Stuart Rojstaczer’s The Mathematician’s Shiva. According to this Jewlicious post, it’s a novel that “mixes Jewish family life, comedy, academia, mystery, greed, chaos shiva, lust and math.”
  • Matthue Roth on Heinrich Heine’s “love song to cholent.”
  • On the Moment blog, Linda Tucker reviews Rabbi David Wolpe’s new book on the biblical David.
  • If you still don’t have enough books on your own TBR list, you’ll find a few more in Sandee Brawarsky’s fall books preview for The Jewish Week. (Coming soon: a similar overview piece by yours truly, elsewhere. Stay tuned!)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • New poetry: “Almost Like the Blues,” by Leonard Cohen, and “Stolpersteine,” by Rachel Unkefer.
  • The new issue of JewishFiction.Net features work by Steve Stern, Joan Leegant, David Bezmozgis, and many more.
  • The Jewish Week‘s Well Versed blog spotlights The Jerusalem Lover, a novella by Shira Dicker that is described as “a prescient and courageous look at the ongoing battle between Israel’s staunch defenders and her harsh critics.”
  • In which D.G. Myers reverses the famous Tolstoy line–“unhappy families are more alike than happy families”–with reference to Joshua Henkin’s The World Without You (and to his own circumstances).
  • On my weekend agenda: listening to the first episode of “Israel Story,” which is being billed as an Israeli version of “This American Life.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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