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Words of the Week

“I think that it’s a huge statement that you can be critical of the actions of the Israeli government and still be a treasured, valued author. That’s a very important point to make.”

Source: Allison Kaplan Sommer, “The Promised Podcast” (re: David Grossman and the Israel Prize)

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Pre-Shabbat #JewLit Links

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat #JewLit Links

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety. Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Yesterday brought the sad news of the passing of Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld. I’ve referenced this major voice many times within the My Machberet blog and elsewhere. See this Twitter thread for some mentions/links.
  • Appelfeld is one of the authors included on Merri Ukraincik’s impressive post “My Year in Books 2017” (which isn’t limited to Jewish-lit titles by any means).
  • ICYMI—and I’m not sure how that’s possible because I feel as though I’m “talking” about it constantly—Adam Gopnik has written a superb piece on Romain Gary for The New Yorker (and I am currently reading one of the books that receives a great deal of attention in that piece: Miranda Richmond Mouillot’s translation [The Kites] of Gary’s Les cerfs-volants).
  • Moment magazine’s Marilyn Cooper recently interviewed Mark Helprin “about his new novel Paris in the Present Tense, being politically conservative in the Jewish community and anti-Semitism in America.” (Possibly my favorite line of Helprin’s here: “It’s not like I decided to be the anti-Woody Allen, but the self-hating Jewish man has not been my experience.”)
  • And from the National Library of Israel: an amazing opportunity for poets who write in Hebrew or Arabic. Deadline: January 31.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past six years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2017.

    Reviewing my reading for 2017 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish.)

    But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.

    Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them (most recent first). I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library [or otherwise borrowed]), G (gift). Continue reading ›

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