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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Image description: pages of Hebrew text.


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

  • “Judging humanity harshly but leaving room for hope, [Romain] Gary’s remains a voice worth heeding. It comes across most powerfully in three books: the memoir Promise at Dawn and the late novels The Life Before Us (1975) and The Kites (1980).” And in a recent piece for Mosaic magazine, Diane Cole discusses all three, beautifully.
  • A happy discovery via Twitter this week: the availability of Dr. Karen E.H. Skinazi’s Women of Valor: Orthodox Jewish Troll Fighters, Crime Writers, and Rock Stars in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Rutgers University Press).
  • The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its latest Literature Translation Fellowships; I’m especially delighted to discover that Marcela Sulak is among the awardees. Her award will support “the translation from the Hebrew of Music of the Wide Lane and Other Poems by Sharron Hass.” I’m also intrigued to learn about fellowship recipient Rose Waldman, whose award will support “the translation from the Yiddish of the autobiographical novel Rings on the Soul by Eli Shechtman.”
  • Speaking of Yiddish: This week marked 99 years since the death of Jacob Dinezon. To mark the occasion, Jewish Storyteller Press commemorated Dinezon’s literary legacy “by remembering his success as a novelist, his friendship with such renowned Jewish writers as Sholem Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, Sholem Abramovitsh, and S. Ansky, and his tireless efforts to improve the lives of Jews living in the Russian Empire at the turn of the 20th century.” Importantly, “in 2019, Jewish Storyteller Press will celebrate Dinezon’s 100th yahrzeit by publishing the first English translation of his bestselling romance novel, The Dark Young Man.” And I’m proud to be helping JSP with that project. Please visit the press’s site and sign up for its newsletter to keep up with developments.
  • And a note from Jewish Review of Books: “Going into the fall holiday season, we make lists both material—seats, apples, honey, sukkah—and spiritual—forgiveness asked for and given, resolutions for improvement and growth, an accounting of where we have been and where we hope to go. Here at the Jewish Review of Books, we think about where we have been by paging through the stack of the 34 quarterly issues we’ve published to date, along with our growing archive of Web-only articles. We’ve selected 10 favorites that follow the arc of the fall holidays, from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and created an ebook from them. You can read them in the JRB app or print them out to take to synagogue (or read in the shade of your sukkah).”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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