Jewish Literary Links

an open book (with Hebrew pages visible); subtitle reads "Jewish Literary Links"
Image by Yedidia Klein from Pixabay

Toward the end of each week, the My Machberet blog presents a collection of links, drawn primarily from the world of Jewish books and writing.

  • “In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, we’ve gathered a selection of this year’s books for young readers that pay tribute to the diversity of Jewish religious practices, history, identity, and culture across the diaspora.” I was pleased to find this piece in Publishers Weekly late last week, though it did occur to me that it would have been nicer to find it a little earlier in May; for some backstory and related info about JAHM-related kidlit coverage (and lack thereof), check out this post on Imaginary Elevators.
  • Relationships between Israeli and Diaspora Jews are at the heart of an absolutely stunning short story by Sara Lippmann. Titled “The Houseguest,” the story has won the latest fiction contest from Lilith magazine.
  • “Their justification for this most unforgivable of all acts of artistic betrayal follows the usual pattern. The artist in question must be an Israeli. The artist in question – or the institution showing, screening, stocking or performing the work of the artist in question – has ‘links’ to a monstrous regime (which has to be Israel) and is therefore ‘a silent accomplice’ to terrible acts (which have to be Israeli). The artist in question (who must be an Israeli) does not create art as other creators do, to make life more endurable for everyone, but has only one aim and that is to cover up his country’s crimes.” The incomparable Howard Jacobson takes on on cultural boycotters (in this case, filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, in particular).
  • An episode reported last week: “The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund is providing emergency support for…Danielle Wirsansky’s new musical The Secrets We Keep. The work was scheduled for a four-performance presentation at the American Theatre of Actors in New York City beginning May 23, but was canceled due to its Jewish themes.” And this week: “Graphic Artist Miriam Libicki Has Been Banned by Vancouver Comics Arts Festival Due to Her Past Service in the IDF.”
  • And in case you missed this one, too: Jamie Kirchick’s New York Times essay on literary antisemitism is, I think, the piece that most Jewish writers are most grateful for this week. (Yes, as I mentioned on Twitter, it took little time for some of the usual suspects to begin attacking it. Which doesn’t make that fact any less predictable. Or wrong.)

I have continued to update the “After October 7: Readings, Recordings, and More” document-in-progress. Check also cautionary information as compiled under the title “Writers, Beware.”

an open book (with Hebrew pages visible); subtitle reads "Jewish Literary Links"

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