Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
  • Adding this to my TBR list: Shani Boianjiu’s The People of Forever Are Not Afraid. According to Shelf Awareness, the novel “follows three teenage friends from the same Israeli village as they’re conscripted into the army, an experience that alters their lives in irrevocable and unpredictable ways.” The book will be out in September.
  • Leah Vincent explains why she is shopping around her “ex-frum” memoir.
  • On The Whole Megillah, Barbara Krasner interviews poet Elana Bell. (Krasner encountered Bell at a recent conference, where Bell was part of a panel titled “Not Your Bubbe’s Poetry.”)
  • I tried to stay open-minded reading this article. Until I got to the totally un-qualified use of the word “Nakba.”
  • It’s hard to know quite how to respond to these statements from Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua. Except to say that I prefer to believe in Klal Yisrael.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
  • From Daniel E. Levenson, editor of New Vilna Review: “The New Vilna Review has been going through some changes the past few months, and our focus has shifted to offering an expanded selection of poetry, fiction and arts writing. We are once again accepting submissions, and look forward to continuing to publish some of the most interesting and thought provoking work in the world of Jewish arts and letters.”
  • Some fascinating background on the Jewish roots behind the Oscar-winning film, The Artist.
  • “The timing of my new mustache — 10 days after my wife miscarried, a week after I injured my back in a car crash and two weeks after my father found out he had inoperable cancer — couldn’t have been better. Instead of talking about Dad’s chemo or my wife’s blood transfusion, I could divert all small talk to the thick tuft of facial hair growing above my upper lip. And whenever anyone asked me, ‘What’s with the mustache?’ I had the perfect answer, and it was even mostly true: ‘It’s for the boy.'” From an essay by Israeli author Etgar Keret, translated by Jessica Cohen, in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.
  • One of my most memorable reads from last year, Johanna Adorján’s An Exclusive Love: A Memoir (trans. Anthea Bell) is now available in paperback. Check out my review for The Jewish Journal, which includes a recent Q&A with the author.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
  • This week, one of the little ones in Auntie Erika’s life turned 8, and as per usual, he received a birthday gift of a book. I sent him Richard Michelson’s Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King, which was recently named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Young Readers. Check out this interview with Mr. Michaelson (part of the latest blog tour featuring Sydney Taylor Award titles).
  • The above-mentioned interview pointed me to Richard Michaelson’s website, where I discovered this essay Michaelson published some years back, on writing outside one’s own racial/cultural experience.
  • Win a copy of Joan Leegant’s wonderful novel, Wherever You Go.
  • Chas Newkey-Burden (“OyVaGoy”), presents a list of recommended books about Israel.
  • Terrific essay by Sara Ivry for Tablet on a Judy Blume classic, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself.
  • The Jewish Book Council has announced the winner and runner-up for this year’s Sami Rohr Prize: “This year’s prize is for non-fiction and is awarded to journalist Gal Beckerman. His book, When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a comprehensive and enthralling chronicle of the history of the Soviet Jewry movement. The judges believe Beckerman’s work shows ‘his clear commitment to becoming a storyteller for the Jewish people.’ This is Beckerman’s first book. The runner-up is Oxford lecturer Abigail Green, for her biography, Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero (Belknap Press of Harvard University). She receives a $25,000 prize.”
  • Sample excerpts (translated by Jessica Cohen) from Israeli author Alex Epstein’s forthcoming collection, For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings.
  • You’ll find a (somewhat overwhelming) list of intriguing new titles in Jewish fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in The Jewish Week‘s spring arts preview.
  • And as London’s Jewish Book Week celebrates its 60th anniversary, it attempts to list 60 great Jewish books of the past six decades.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
  • Zeek has published the winning poems from the latest Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize for Poetry on the Jewish Experience. On her blog, first-prize winner Jehanne Dubrow explains: “One of the really nice things about this award is that it includes both a monetary award AND publication. Of course, I should add that any prize also serves as encouragement, a little push to keep the writer writing. These prose poems come from my manuscript-in-progress, The Arranged Marriage, which has certainly received plenty of little pushes lately. I will keep writing.”
  • The Yiddish Book Center introduces its new Academic Director, Joshua Lambert.
  • The latest winner of Israel’s Sapir Prize for Literature is Haggai Linik.
  • On the Image journal blog, Rick Chess offers a beautiful and personal meditation inspired by Jacob and Esau.
  • Delighted to discover this interview with Joan Leegant on the Fiction Writers Review website.
  • Presenting the 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Awards’ winning, honor, and notable titles. (“The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Pasadena, California this June.”)
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • From Women in Judaism: “We are delighted to announce the electronic publication of two new issues of Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. The journal can be accessed at www.womeninjudaism.org. Click on the following links to access the new issues: Vol. 8:1 http://tinyurl.com/7plstwa; Vol. 8:2 http://tinyurl.com/lgo2br.”
  • Lisa Katz goes “Beyond Amichai” in her take on contemporary Israeli poetry.
  • Discovered this extraordinary photo-essay-exhibit by Beth Burstein thanks to the lively discussion unfolding in a Generations of the Shoah (GSI) Facebook discussion group. As curator Sura Levine describes it, this work “explores[s] Burstein’s dual identity as an American born well after World War II and as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Intimate and public, these images function at the margins of both the documentary and fine art.”
  • Mazel tov to the National Jewish Book Awards’ latest winners and finalists.
  • Coming up February 16 in NYC: “Soviet-Jewish Experience in NYC, 1972-2000, In Fact and Fiction.” Featuring Anya Ulinich, Lina Zeldovich, Mikhail Iossel, Emily Rubin, and Anneliese Orleck. Tickets are $10 ($8 for Members of the CUNY Graduate Center).
  • Attention, book bloggers! “The Sydney Taylor Book Award committee is preparing to announce the best Jewish kidlit published in the past year. Winners will be revealed in mid-January, and there will be a blog tour for medal-winning authors/illustrators in February! If you’re interested in interviewing a winner and hosting a stop on the blog tour, please let us know! If you’d like to participate, please email Barbara Krasner(at)barbarakrasner(dot)att(dot)net and CC Heidi Estrin at Heidi(at)cbiboca(dot)org.”
  • Yesterday’s main feature on Jewish Ideas Daily was a piece titled “Among the Literati.” Its author: yours truly.
  • Shabbat shalom!
    (Photo by Reut Miryam Cohen.)

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Nathan Englander’s story in this week’s New Yorker is behind the paywall, but anyone can read this interview with Englander about the story (“What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” the title story in Englander’s forthcoming collection); Raymond Carver; and how Englander’s efforts in playwriting and translation have influenced his fiction.
  • Weekend reading: the latest issue of JewishFiction.net.
  • Glad to see a revival of Josh Lambert’s new books column on Tablet.
  • Four fun facts about my own year in Jewish books.
  • “The Book of Life’s Canadian Correspondent Anne Dublin interviews author and filmmaker David Bezmogis about his development as a writer and his new novel The Free World.”
  • There is so much great stuff on Barbara Krasner’s “Whole Megillah” site (“the writer’s resource for Jewish-themed children’s books”) that I’m just going to send you over to the home page.
  • Israeli author Moshe Sakal was thrown off a literary panel in France a few days ago when a Palestinian poet refused to share the stage with him. Nice, n’est-ce pas? The event has received appallingly little attention–and the news is traveling slowly at that–but I’ve been able to track down some live-blogging coverage (in French.) Meantime, I’ve also found the author’s “Writing Rules,” apparently published in connection with his University of Iowa International Writers Program affiliation this fall.
  • Shabbat shalom!