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.
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.
A high-ranking Nazi’s wife and a Jewish doctor in prewar Berlin. A Jewish immigrant soldier and the German POWs he is assigned to supervise. A refugee returning to Europe for the first time just as terrorists massacre Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. A son of survivors and the family secrets modern technology may reveal. These are some of the characters and conflicts that emerge in Quiet Americans, in stories that reframe familiar questions about what is right and wrong, remembered and repressed, resolved and unending. Portions of the proceeds from sales of Quiet Americans are being donated to The Blue Card. Quiet Americans has been named a 2012 Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title (American Library Association) and recognized as a “Notable Book” (The Jewish Journal) and “Top Book” (Shelf Unbound).
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