Each week as Shabbat approaches, the My Machberet blog presents a collection of links, drawn primarily from the world of Jewish books.
A quick prefatory note: Like many of you, I’ve been awash in Jewishly-focused online offerings lately. This week’s links reflect that current reality.
- One evening this week, I celebrated Ellen Meeropol’s newest novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, by joining in an online book party featuring some short readings. (I’d been looking forward to learning more about the book after reading an essay that Elli published in Lilith last fall.)
- Prompted by another evening’s online discussion, I’ve just finished reading The Drive by Yair Assulin (trans. Jessica Cohen; New Vessel Press, 2020). In the tradition of the short novel set within a brief time span—in this case, a drive to a psychiatric appointment and the visit that follows—we meet a young Israeli soldier who is seeking relief from the emotional suffering he’s experiencing in his post. I’m not certain that, by the end, the novel is quite as “anti-militarist” as the publisher argued in the event description, but that’s a more complicated topic than I can take on here. Interested readers will some helpful background provided in this Los Angeles Review of Books interview.
- I’d intended to follow the Forward‘s discussion of “(Jewish) Journalism in the (Coronavirus) Crisis” as it unfolded on Zoom, but shortly before it began, I learned that my friend Aimee Pozorski was virtually addressing a library gathering on Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America at the same time. So over to Aimee I went! I don’t believe that Aimee’s event was recorded, but the Forward‘s was, and I plan to catch it on YouTube sometime soon.
- Speaking of The Plot Against America—the HBO adaptation (and its accompanying podcast series) ended this week. I’m still catching up on a number of the related commentaries that are out there to absorb, but for the moment, I’ll point you to this one, by Gabe Friedman.
- This week also brought us Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Mindful that we’re also still observing National Poetry Month, I’ll point you to an online poetry event, curated by Erika Meitner, that I “attended” Tuesday evening; to these poems by Edith Bruck (b. 1932), translated by Jeanne Bonner; and to one of the Holocaust-related poems in my own poetry collection, re-published this week by on the website of the Sami Rohr Prize.