Latest Issue of Lilith

Finally had the chance to read through the latest issue of Lilith magazine. My favorite piece in this issue has to be “Anzia Yezierska and Me,” by Patricia Averbach. As a teenager, Averbach was hired to be Yezierska’s “literary assistant.” An unusual experience, to be sure, and one that Averbach’s family was frankly not all that happy about: “‘What kind of real writer needs a high school kid as a literary assistant?’ my mother asked. She was cooking dinner and didn’t look up. ‘Maybe she wrote some books, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want you locked up with some old lady. If she’s looking for company, let her hire a nurse.'” The essay isn’t (yet?) online, but hopefully at some point it will be.

Blog Discovery: The Book of Life

I’ve just discovered The Book of Life, whose tagline reads “a podcast about Jewish people and the books we read.” I have to admit that I still haven’t fallen completely in love with podcasts, but the blog itself seems well worth reading, with lots of references to Jewish books, writers, and publishers. Host Heidi Estrin directs the library at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida, and participates in a number of Jewish book organizations/activities. This is a welcome addition to my link list.

This Week In Jerusalem

Somewhat belatedly, I’m reading all about the first International Writers Festival in Jerusalem, which took place this past Monday-Thursday (May 12-15). And I’m wishing I’d been there.

You can read some of the press coverage here, here, and, in tandem with coverage of a similar event taking place to celebrate Palestinian literature, here.

Of course, all “boycott” talk I’ve found so far has to do with urges to boycott the Israeli-planned festival, not the Palestinian one (and I’m not going to do the proponents of that cause any favors by linking to anything explaining their “reasoning”). It seems that Nadine Gordimer, in particular, was the target of appeals urging her to cancel her participation. Kudos to Ms. Gordimer for resisting the pressure.