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.

    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). (more…)

    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.

  • A marvelous essay by Emily Meg Weinstein about her grandparents/family history.
  • A fascinating account of an epic Yiddish poem—about Kentucky—by Dara Horn.
  • On my viewing agenda: video from an event featuring Ruby Namdar and Liel Leibovitz in conversation about The Ruined House, Namdar’s Sapir Prize-winning novel (which is now available in an English translation by Hillel Halkin).
  • And on my listening agenda: the “grand finale” (for now, anyway) of the Book of Life podcast.
  • ICYMI: Jewish Book Carnival call for submissions.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    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.

  • My latest column for the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle has gone live, and it’s all about books (that we can look forward to in 2018).
  • Smart review by David Cooper of Ruby Namdar’s The Ruined House (trans. Hillel Halkin).
  • In the wake of this week’s announcement that the U.S. now formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, The New York Times has observed: “Many readers have taken to our comments section to express either their consternation or approval. However, few readers have commented about their personal experiences with the city. Perhaps you have lived there, have ancestral roots there or have visited. We want to hear what the city means to you. We may publish a selection of the responses.” Read more here.
  • Via the Jewish Book Council: Ilana Kurshan, the author of the If All the Seas Were Ink, “shares a reading list of books that take a creative approach to stories of the Talmud.”
  • And it’s #Readukkah time! (Well, almost.) Details here.
  • Shabbat shalom.

    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.

  • This week’s Israel in Translation podcast features poetry by Tuvia Ruebner, translated by Lisa Katz and Shahar Bram. Just beautiful.
  • I had reason the other day to refer someone to this resource page, which I designed for anyone seeking to publish Jewish-themed stories, poems, and essays. And it occurred to me that it had been a while since I’d mentioned that page here.
  • Terrific Tablet piece (by Jake Marmer) occasioned by the release of the film adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel Call Me By Your Name.
  • From across the pond: “The longlist for the 2018 JQ (Jewish Quarterly) Wingate Prize has been announced, with “identity” singled out as this year’s overriding theme. Twelve books have been selected, including Judas by Amos Oz, Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss and The Dark Circle by Linda Grant. The prize, now in its 41st year, is run in association with the JW3 community centre. The winner of the £4,000 prize will be announced on February 15, 2018.”
  • And remember—you can win a copy of Leon Wiener Dow’s The Going: A Meditation on Jewish Law via this Goodreads giveaway. (If you’re interested in reviewing the book or otherwise profiling the author, please let me know!)
  • Shabbat shalom! And if you’ll be attending the Jewish Book Council’s Jewish Writers’ Seminar this weekend, please say hello!

    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.

  • Next up on my TBR list: Ilana Kurshan’s If All the Seas Were Ink, which I had the pleasure of hearing the author introduce at an event in New York this week. (For another presentation, see this piece by Judy Bolton-Fasman for JewishBoston.com.)
  • Over on the Hadassah Magazine site, there’s a nice overview (by Peter Ephross) of female (ex-)Soviet writers “who have carved a literary niche for themselves in North America.”
  • A profile of Rachela Krinsky (by yours truly) for the Forward; Krinsky is one of the “dramatis personae” featured in the new book by David E. Fishman, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis.
  • The Jewish Week‘s fall literary guide is out, and among other highlights, you’ll find there Sandee Brawarsky’s take on Reuven (Ruby) Namdar’s Sapir Prize-winning novel The Ruined House, now available in an English translation by Hillel Halkin.
  • And ICYMI: a couple of #JewLit items were featured over on my Midweek Notes post this week on the Practicing Writing blog.
  • Shabbat shalom!