Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • As I’ve already mentioned on my other blog, I hope that by the time The New York Review of Books publishes the second part of “A Jewish Writer in America,” which reflects a talk originally given by Saul Bellow in 1988, I’ll have been able to digest fully part one.
  • On the occasion of the release of MetaMaus, Art Spiegelman’s combination book/DVD about the creation of his famous Maus, Ruth Franklin writes: “What MetaMaus makes clear is that Maus, like the works of W.G. Sebald, exists somewhere outside of the genres as they are normally defined: We might call it ‘testimonially based Holocaust representation.’ But no matter what it is called, it gives the lie to the critics of Holocaust literature (as well as certain writers of it) who have insisted that either everything must be true or nothing is true.”
  • From The Literary Saloon’s M.A. Orthofer: “It’s always fun when literature and politics get mixed up, and Giulio Meotti’s wacky op-ed at Ynet, wondering: ‘Why do most of Israel’s prominent writers go easy on Jewish State’s enemies ?’ — which apparently amounts to Israel’s literary tragedy — is a fine example.” I agree with Orthofer that the argument isn’t handled well. But I’m less “indifferent” to that argument than he is.
  • New exhibit at the Yiddish Book Center in western Massachusetts: Isaac Bashevis Singer and his Artists. Runs October 16, 2011-February 15, 2012.
  • Andrew Silow-Carroll highlights an amusing anecdote related in Dwight Garner’s review of the new memoir by author Bruce Jay Friedman.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Ruth Franklin, on “Élisabeth Gille’s Devastating Account of Her Mother, Irène Némirovsky.”
  • Commentary‘s archive is going to the University of Texas. Says The New York Times: “The archive, which spans 1945 to 1995, includes letters by and to Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer, Amos Oz, Elie Wiesel and Isaac Bashevis Singer, as well as the revisions of essays written for the magazine by George Orwell, Pearl S. Buck and Jean-Paul Sartre.”
  • Just in time for Rosh Hashanah: a new issue of, featuring, in the editor’s words, “thirteen beautiful, moving, and thought-provoking stories (originally written in Yiddish, Hebrew, or English) that touch in various ways on the themes of faith, spiritual searching, and/or religious observance.”
  • Love this comprehensive discussion of André Aciman’s new book on Tablet.
  • Randy Susan Meyers, whose novel, The Murderer’s Daughters, I’m reading right now, is one of the fiction writers featured in the latest issue of 614, an ezine from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.
  • Looking forward to reading through the latest (September-October) issues of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)”News” and “Reviews” publications.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • The September Jewish Book Carnival has gone live. This month’s host, forwordsbooks, has done an amazing job collecting the links to Jewish book news, reviews, and interviews.
  • Mazel tov to the winners of the first annual Yiddish Book Center Translation Grant competition.
  • Lisa Silverman spotlights new holiday books for children (and a few for adults).
  • A new monument honors Isaac Babel in Babel’s native Odessa.
  • I was very sorry to miss a literary conversation between Lucette Lagnado and André Aciman here in New York, so I’m most grateful for this summary in The Jewish Week: “Egypt: Fondly Remembered, Currently Feared.” Both authors’ new books are on my tbr list.
  • Josh Lambert summarizes two years “On the Bookshelf.”
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Yiddish Book Center Plans Translation Conference

    From the Yiddish Book Center:

    The Yiddish Book Center and the Fund for Translation of Jewish Literature are proud to announce a working conference entitled, “Translating Yiddish Literature: Mobilizing a New Generation.” The event will take place at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA on Saturday evening, November 12, and Sunday, November 13, 2011. Established and aspiring translators, publishers, students and scholars are invited to attend.

    This conference comes at a moment of great urgency and promise. Less than two percent of Yiddish literature has been translated to date, and despite recent efforts (such as the New Yiddish Library), at the current rate it will be another 25,000 years before all Yiddish titles are accessible to English readers.

    The goal of the conference, therefore, is to spark a concerted, all-out effort to translate the best of Yiddish literature into English.

    For the program and other information, visit the conference webpage. NB: “Limited travel subsidies” are available (apply by September 20).

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Through November 30: “The Jewish Writer: Portraits by Jill Krementz.” Exhibition at the Center for Jewish History in NYC.
  • Next week (also in NYC): The Greatest Yiddish Literature Party Ever.
  • Professor Gil Troy, on the new genre of  “Zionist captivity narratives.” (via JTA)
  • Mazel tov to the newest winners of the Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism.
  • I dare you to watch this prize-winning, (very) short film without being moved.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Translation Grants Available from the Yiddish Book Center

    This just in from the Yiddish Book Center:

    The Yiddish Book Center will award two grants of $1,000 each for the translation into English of a Yiddish text, from any genre. According to Aaron Lansky, president and founder of the Yiddish Book Center, “less than 2% of Yiddish titles have been translated into English. Most of Yiddish literature is still inaccessible to English readers. The only answer is to train and mobilize a new generation of translators.”

    The grant offering is part of a larger translation program at the Yiddish Book Center, including a translation conference, workshops, and plans for new web-based resources.

    Application deadline is June 1. To learn more and apply:

    (I’m looking forward to hearing more about the “larger translation program”!)