Each week as Shabbat approaches, the My Machberet blog presents a collection of links, drawn primarily from the world of Jewish books and writing.
- Awards season continues! On the heels of last week’s multiple announcements, yesterday brought news of the 2021 Sophie Brody Medal winner and honorable mentions. “This year’s winner is Yishai Sarid, author of The Memory Monster, translated by Yardenne Greenspan, published by Restless Books….Honorable mentions include House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family by Hadley Freeman published by Simon & Schuster; The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross, published by HarperVia; The Tunnel by A.B Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann, published by Scribner.”
- I discovered the story of the remarkable Flory Jagoda, who died January 29 at the age of 97, through my recent immersion in the world of Jewish picture-book biographies (specifically, through The Key from Spain by Debbie Levy [illustrated by Sonja Wimmer]). May Jagoda’s memory be a blessing.
- Speaking of picture books inspired by extraordinary women: This week brought the release of Osnat and Her Dove: The True Story of the World’s First Female Rabbi by Sigal Samuel (illustrated by Vali Mintzi). In this piece for the Jewish Book Council’s blog, the author explains how she discovered the story of Osnat Barzani.
- Call for pitches: “Do you want to write about religion? Do you have a clear idea and some writing experience? @PatheosSpirit is now accepting pitches across a broad spectrum of categories. We pay competitive rates.” Read the full thread for information (and for info on a current essay competition for college students).
- I’ll be honest: This New York Times Book Review assessment of a new novel reminded me about my own (unpublished!) novel manuscript in so many ways. The Holocaust-inflected, family-history-based immigration story. The shifting character perspectives. The intergenerational element. The role of letters in the project’s background. And the reviewer’s conclusion—similar to what my then-agent and I heard from a number of editors—that the more “contemporary” storyline just doesn’t quite match the power of the historical one.