Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat (& Hanukkah)

Okay, so they’re a day ahead of schedule. But I’m setting out on a long weekend away, and I wanted to be sure not to neglect my weekly links!

  • I trust that you are all having a happy Hanukkah. I’m still kvelling over my own story (forgive me!) on the 2011 NPR Hanukkah Lights special. (And marveling over the fact that I’m sharing the radio-stage with Tamar Yellin, whose work I’ve admired for several years.) I’ve also written a little something about the story’s background and the research that went into it.
  • Remaining with the Hanukkah theme: Gail Fishman Gerwin’s “Are We Done Yet?” (courtesy of Your Daily Poem).
  • And if you’re still buying a gift or two, you may find some ideas within Josh Lambert’s latest books column for Tablet.
  • From Poets & Writers magazine, an account of a remarkable Jewish writing workshop: “Last year Poets & Writers funded two workshops in Tucson, Arizona, led by writer Deborah Mayaan and Rabbi Stephanie Aaron. We asked Mayaan to reflect on the first workshop, which occurred just a week after the shooting that took the lives of six people and injured thirteen others, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.”
  • Intriguing review by Steven Amanick–with a focus on literary evidence–of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The People of the Book: Philosemitism in England from Cromwell to Churchill.
  • Shabbat shalom and Happy Hanukkah!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Fascinating research on truth and lies about the origins of the famous Leon Uris novel Exodus. (via Jewish Ideas Daily)
  • In which you’ll read about Leon Wieseltier, David Grossman…and Occupy Wall Street.
  • Interesting reaction to the recent announcements of the latest National Book Award finalists and the Man Booker Prize winner in Eric Herschthal’s “The Agony & Ecstasy of Jewish Book Awards.”
  • This week, I picked up a copy of Wayne Hoffman’s Sweet Like Sugar, which will be the focus of the next Jewish Book Council Twitter Book Club (November 8). And this week, posted a review of the novel.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Library Journal looks forward to the April 2012 publication of Shalom Auslander’s Hope: A Tragedy, calling it “ripe for attention.”
  • Fascinating obituary of British Jewish poet Emanuel Litvinoff (1915-2011).
  • In The Jewish Journal, Jonathan Kirsch writes: “Now and then…we are offered a reading experience that reminds us of the gold standard in literature, and one such book is “Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere” by André Aciman (Farrar Straus and Giroux: $25).”
  • It is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the excellent press that Anna Solomon’s The Little Bride is receiving (brava, Anna!). But one of my favorite items from the past few weeks is Anna’s blog post for the Wordstock Festival in Portland, Ore. (where she’ll be appearing on Sunday, October 9). The post is titled “Becoming an American” and, well, let’s just say that certain elements really resonate for this granddaughter of Jewish immigrants who has also spent quite a bit of time among New Englanders.
  • Mazel tov to the winners of The Whole Megillah Picture Book Manuscript Contest!
  • Speaking of contest winners, it looks as though the latest Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest winners will be honored in New York on Monday evening. The ceremony is free, though registration is required.
  • Shabbat shalom, and an easy fast to you all as well.

    Words of the Week: Howard Jacobson

    ‘If the Israeli military attacks us, it will be as if they attacked the mailman,’ [Alice Walker] says. Wrong on a thousand counts. As a writer, Alice Walker must understand the symbolic significance of words. The cargo is a cargo of intention. It is freighted with political sympathy and attitude. It means to blunder into where it isn’t safe, clothed in the make-believe garments of the unworldly, speaking of children and speaking like children, half inviting a violence which can then be presented as a slaughter of the innocents.

    Even before the deed, Alice Walker has her language of outraged moral purity prepared — “but if they insist on attacking us, wounding us, even murdering us…” The Israeli response is thus already an act of unprovoked murder, no matter that the flotilla is by its very essence a provocation. Whatever its cargo, by luring the Israeli military into action which can be represented as brutal, the flotilla is engaged in an entirely political act. To call it by any other name is the grossest hypocrisy.

    Thank you, Howard Jacobson.

    Notes from Around the Web: Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Mazel Tov to Austin Ratner, who has won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in fiction for his debut novel, The Jump Artist (Bellevue Literary Press), and to Joseph Skibell, who is the runner-up and recipient of of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award. His award-winning novel is A Curable Romantic (Algonquin). Two more books on my to-read list.
  • Make that three. After reading Sandee Brawarsky’s review, I’m putting Sharon Pomerantz’s Rich Boy atop the list.
  • “With new Jewish-themed television programs, critically acclaimed Jewish fiction, experimental electro-klezmer bands and Jewish-Muslim theater groups, British Jews are producing obviously Jewish-inflected artworks in increasingly vibrant and creative ways, which often become part of the mainstream culture,” writes Rebecca Schischa, for The Jewish Week.
  • Adam Kirsch reviews the newly-available translation (by Tim Wilkinson) of Imre Kertesz’s Fiasco.
  • For his part, Jonathan Kirsch reviews and recommends a new novel by Alan Cheuse, Song of Slaves in the Desert, which features a character “who stands in for the 3 to 5 percent of American slaveholders in the antebellum South who were Jewish.”
  • Job alert: “New Voices and JSPS [the Jewish Student Press Service] are seeking a full-time Editor in Chief/Executive Director. New Voices is the only national, independent magazine written for and by Jewish college students. Published by the Jewish Student Press Service (est. 1971), New Voices and cover Jewish issues from a student perspective. JSPS also runs the annual National Jewish Student Journalism conference, now in its 40th year.”
  • Another job alert, this time from the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Fla., which is seeking a part-time PJ Library Community Coordinator.
  • Notes from Around the Web: Literary Links for Shabbat

    Some goodies for you:

  • The Jewish Week‘s Spring Arts Preview lets us know about new books from Melissa Fay Greene, David Bezmozgis, and many others.
  • Just what is a “Jewish book,” anyway?
  • How did it take me this long to learn that Jeffrey Goldberg is on Twitter?
  • Natasha Solomons, author of Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, describes an especially meaningful book-group visit.
  • Excellent, insightful review of David Grossman’s To the End of the Land (trans. Jessica Cohen) by the Boston Bibliophile.
  • As the winter blog tour for my new story collection, Quiet Americans, nears its end, time’s running out to enter our Goodreads & Facebook giveaways! Hurry up and enter, and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky winners to receive a copy!
  • And speaking of Quiet Americans, todah rabah to Elissa Strauss for including it in her latest new-books column on The Forward’s Sisterhood blog.
  • Shabbat shalom!