Words of the Week: David Abrams

She’s a classic storyteller and there’s a clear, direct line from Isaac Bashevis Singer and Bernard Malamud to her 21st-century keyboard.

Please forgive me, but I can’t resist sharing this snippet from a review of my new short-story collection, Quiet Americans. The reviewer is David Abrams, and you can read his full take on the book right here. High praise, indeed! Thank you, David.

Assuming that the trains are running despite snow/ice/sleet, I will be on my way to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference in D.C. tomorrow. I’m unlikely to post while I’m away, but I should have plenty to share once I return.

Have a great several days. See you back here soon.

Notes from Around the Web: Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Many apologies for missing last week’s lit-links post. And fair warning: I’m unlikely to post next Friday as well: I’ll be away at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. But don’t worry: I shall return!

  • The New Vilna Review presents an informative interview with Carol Hupping of the Jewish Publication Society, digging into the JPS’s past, present, and future.
  • Having recently gone to see the Hannah Senesh exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, I appreciated Elissa Strauss’s post about it for The Forward’s Sisterhood blog.
  • Fiction Writers Review has posted an exceedingly interesting interview with Jacob Paul, author of Sarah/Sara, which I reviewed (also for FWR) last year.
  • I’ve been noticing a growing cluster of Holocaust-related books authored by grandchildren of those who lived under Nazism. Among the latest (in addition, of course, to my own Quiet Americans, which was officially released last week) is Johanna Adorjan’s An Exclusive Love. Subtitled “A Memoir,” Adorjan’s book is, in the words of Jewish Journal’s reviewer Elaine Margolin, “an imaginative piece of work that blends fact and fantasy.”
  • And on a related note: Last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review featured a piece on Ferdinand von Schirach’s Crime (translated by Carol Brown Janeway): “To say that Germans and guilt have a special relationship would be to dive into the deep end of platitude, but in von Schirach’s case it’s difficult not to raise the issue, and not only because he’s titled his preface ‘Guilt.’ His grandfather, Baldur von Schirach, head of the Hitler Youth for most of the 1930s and later the wartime governor of Vienna, was convicted of crimes against humanity at Nuremberg.” Tbr, to be sure.
  • Finally, I hope that you’re following my virtual book tour for my new short-story collection, Quiet Americans. Several of the “stops” feature material of Jewish literary interest. Check out the itinerary (with brief content descriptions) here. (Plus, some really lovely reviews have been coming in.)
  • Shabbat shalom!

    For the International Day of Commemoration: Reznikoff Reading “Holocaust”

    For me, at least, Yom Hashoah remains the primary Holocaust Remembrance Day of record, so to speak. But in 2005, the United Nations designed January 27 as an “annual International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust” (Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945).

    And yesterday, I discovered an amazing and relevant online resource: excerpts from a recording of poet Charles Reznikoff reading from his last book, Holocaust. (For background on Holocaust, read Charles Bernstein’s exceptionally instructive essay, and for information on a full CD—the product of many years of labor by Professor Abraham Ravett—please read this.)

    I’ve begun listening to the excerpts. It’s not easy to listen to them consecutively, without a break. But today of all days, do try to listen to some of them.

    (Thanks to the NewPages blog for this very special find.)

    Jewish Ideas Daily Seeks Editorial Assistant

    “Full-time editorial assistant needed for Jewish Ideas Daily (www.jewishideasdaily.com), a growing website of thought, culture, politics, and religion. We are looking for someone organized and responsible, deeply and critically engaged with Jewish matters. Editorial experience and computer/tech skills are highly desirable. Competitive compensation commensurate with experience; must be based in New York. ” For the full announcement, check JewishJobs.com.