Featured Fiction by Jewish Women

This just in from 614, the ezine of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and its editor, Michelle Cove:

“For our 2nd annual issue on Jewish books, we wanted to find young Jewish women who were writing about themes we haven’t seen dozens of times. This is why you’ll find mention in this issue of cowboys, Madame Bovary, a modern day Jewish heiress, a 12-year-old Iranian, Jewish spies, and a heroic German baker. Rather than post book reviews, we talked to the authors behind these stories and asked them about the inspirations for their books, and also what they think about today’s Jewish fiction in general. Meet Joanna Hershon, Tova Mirvis, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, Dara Horn, Jenna Blum, and Gina Nahai.”

Intrigued? Read on, here.

Mining Moment Magazine

The November-December issue Moment magazine (“The Book Issue”) arrived last week, and it contains some terrific content. Here’s a quick guide to some highlights:

1) A profile of comedian Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz)

2) Reading recommendations (classic and contemporary Jewish books) from nine Nobel laureates. Plus: more suggestions from rabbis.

3) The top three stories submitted to the most recent Moment-Karma Short Fiction Award competition.

4) A poem by Myra Sklarew

5) And an online bonus: a book club guide to Philip Roth’s Goodbye Columbus and Other Stories.

In Praise of Ludwig Lewisohn

Several years ago I proposed a class paper-turned-essay on Ludwig Lewisohn (1882-1955) and his masterpiece, The Island Within, to then-JBooks.com editor Josh Lambert. Josh took the pitch and did a great job editing the piece (which you can still find here). So I was especially delighted to see Josh’s own excellent work on Lewisohn published on Nextbook.org a few days ago. It seems we’re a small but devoted group, those of us who love Lewisohn and The Island Within. Join us!

From My Bookshelf: What Happened to Anna K.? by Irina Reyn

Last week I finished reading What Happened to Anna K.?, the first novel by Irina Reyn, who immigrated to the United States as a child and whose book adds to the growing collection of excellent fiction being penned by Jewish transplants from Russia to the United States. It’s a retelling of Anna Karenina, through a distinctly Russian-Jewish immigrant lens. Highly recommended!

Late last month, Sandee Brawarsky introduced Reyn and her book, as well as another Russian-born fictionist, Sania Krasikov, whose story collection is titled One More Year. Both Reyn and Krasikov are among the “Five Under 35” whom the National Book Foundation will honor this year “as someone whose work is particularly promising and exciting and is among the best of a new generation of writers.”