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The world of Holocaust literature is filled with horrific stories of murder and gritty survival – think Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi and Art Spiegelman. Seldom does a book come along from a Holocaust survivor that can truly be called delightful.
Review by Ada Brunstein "It is important to quiet the lamb, that is the first thing." So begins Naomi Alderman's The Liars' Gospel, a fictional account of Jesus' life set against the backdrop of the Jews' struggles against Roman rule.
On the long list of all time greatest Jewish calamities, the destruction of the Second Temple is surely among the Top 10. We remember it every year on Tisha B'Av, and at every wedding when the groom smashes a glass.
Novelist Francesca Segal won the 2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature for her debut novel, "The Innocents." Segal will receive the Jewish Book Council's first prize award of $100,000. The novel is set in modern day London, in a
An armed man forces his way into the house of a man named Etgar Keret. He orders Keret, "Tell me a story." But before Keret can rattle something off, there's a knock at the door. And then another. Suddenly, Keret
It's a common rule of public speaking Tell a joke, and you loosen up the crowd. This idea isn't a recent one it can actually be found in the Talmud. "Before he began his lesson to the scholars," says the
If languages had personalities, then Yiddish would probably be gruff and sardonic, with several unexpected surprises up its sleeve much like the admired comic book writer Harvey Pekar who died last year. One of Pekar's last projects was co editing
The long awaited second novel from Sami Rohr Prize Choice Award recipient Michael Lavigne. Michael's new novel follows Roman Guttman, a Russian born postmodern architect who is injured in a bus bombing, as he journeys into Palestinian territory. Roman's story
The National Jewish Book Awards host America’s most lucrative literary prize By Jessica Weisberg The winner of the Sami Rohr Literary Prize—which, at $100,000, is one of the most generous literary awards in the world—won’t be announced until April, but
BOSTON (JTA) Francine Hermelin Levite and Edgar Bronfman have been using unique versions of the Passover Haggadah for years. Now both have decided to publish their versions of the Exodus story. Hermelin Levite, 43, the mother of three school aged
Amy Webb, in demand internet consultant and math whiz had experienced one too many disastrous JDates. After one particularly awful one—on which the guy started taking phone calls from his wife—Webb went home, settled down with a bottle of wine,
In the beginning, there was the Lower East Side – the place where it all began for hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews. Crowded, dirty, poor. Home to more hopes and tragedies than should ever be squeezed into two
The year is 1994 and psychologist Richard Shapiro has accidentally burned down a California state forest. Weeks earlier, his young patient had committed suicide, and the blazing forest hastens Richard's slide toward mental breakdown. He and his wife Louise, an
2013 Blog Tour The Sydney Taylor Book Award will be celebrating and showcasing its 2013 gold and silver medalists and a few selected Notables with a Blog Tour, February 11 15, 2013 Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear
Isaac Frankel’s recently released first novel, Sacred Apples, fascinatingly explores the intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—both in Jerusalem, where the plot unfolds, and beyond. With some lines taken directly from the Bible and the Talmud, and the rest matching
By now you've probably heard Jack Lew, President Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary, signs his name like your Uncle Saul after too much Manischewitz. And now his sloppy John Hancock may get scribbled across our $10s and $20s for years
Political zealots had a field day during the recent presidential election. Right wingers painted Obama as a Kenyan communist. Leftists painted Romney as a plutocrat who would steal bread from babies. A new low? Not really. Fear mongering has a
When Orly Noy did a Hebrew language Google search for "Persian literature" Google asked her "Do you mean Russian literature?" Amazingly, not a single Persian novel had ever been translated into Hebrew. Noy, whose family left Iran for Israel shortly
In the late 1500s, Prague was a cultural hotspot. The reigning monarch of the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Rudolf II, was a patron of the arts and humanities, including scholars, sculptors, and mystics. Rudolf also had a close relationship with
Critics have been speculating for years about who will pen the next Great American Jewish Novel. All signs pointed to Michael Chabon when his 2007 novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union conceived of an alternate history in which
In Jami Attenberg's new novel The Middlesteins, the relationships between members of one suburban Chicago family are riddled with emotional landmines that all seem to link back to one woman matriarch Edie Middlestein, sixty something and morbidly obese. The novel
By Joshua Eli Plaut So you want to dress up as Santa? This is not as unusual as it might seem I have covered this phenomenon in my recent book A Kosher
From pirates to dinosaurs to baseball, Jewish themed children’s books make perfect Hanukkah gifts It was the best of publishing years it was the worst of publishing years. OK, mostly it was the worst. But it was a remarkably good
I’ve adored illuminated manuscripts all my life — as a child and teenager, these were the postcards I’d take home from museum trips. I’ve done hundreds of ketubot and this is my third book project published in 7 years, and
At 97, a Writer Remembers the Past What kind of author writes himself into his own novel? One with a great deal of hubris, it would seem. But if that writer is a 97 year old Pulitzer Prize writer, with
Looking for some great Jewish books for children this Hanukkah? Look no further than Jvillage's Pinterest page. A whole slew of Jewish books, Hanukkah and non Hanukkah themed, for your child's reading pleasure.
When you think of Provence you probably think of the region’s famous French scenery and wine. But when novelist Iain Pears thinks of Provence he thinks of its deep—and often dark—history. His 2002 novel The Dream of Scipio weaves together
The next great Jewish novel is coming from the heart of Germany. The Canvas by Berlin born Benjamin Stein, is a mystery novel with an innovative form. It's actually two books in one Start from one side, read your way
In movies and TV, intelligence operations are often portrayed as glamorously dangerous human chess matches with a series of sexual entanglements and ingenious double crosses. The operatives are master manipulators, forming intimate relationships they must cast off at mission’s end.
Sayed Kashua has made a career out of being an anomaly A Hebrew speaking Muslim Israeli Arab. As a writer, he pens a weekly column for Ha'aretz, a major Israeli newspaper, and he writes the hilarious sitcom Arab Labor for
ABOUT MEMBERS OF THE SCRIBE The latest in Jewish literature, culled from all ages and all genres. Members of the Scribe is a collaboration between MyJewishLearning and Jewish Book Council, a blog written by the authors of some of today's best new
Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote is considered one of the greatest books of all time. So it's no surprise that the epic is subject to plenty of parodies and spoofs, including a Jewish version, written by one of the founders of
Judaism.com has a treasure trove of children't books for Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Here are a few for your child's enjoyment
This compelling companion to Yom Kippur Readings helps create a bridge between the words of our ancestors and the meanings, themes and ideas that are the central spiritual agenda of the life of the modern Jew. Drawn from a variety
In Grandpa's House Maurice Sendak illustrated over a hundred books, both his own stories and those written by others. The illustrated book In Grandpa's House might be his most personal illustration project the author of the text is Philip Sendak, Maurice's father. Written
By Jordana Horn My husband Jon has frequently commented that my cooking might taste better if I did not regularly read novels while I cook. I tell him that this is a charming detail about me that will elicit loving laughter
Looking for interesting reading this summer? Two biographies of Jewish women make for a fascinating read. Read the stories of Rachel Bella Kahn and Rebecca Cohen Mayer to see what tough stock from which these women were made. In 1894,
According to Jewish law, it's inadvisable to read holy materials, or even mention God's name, in a bathroom.On the other hand, there's a classic rabbinical admonition never to waste a second. According to one apocryphal story, the famed 18th century Rabbi Elijah of Vilna reconciled
Jewish Books 18 Essential Texts Every Jew Should Read Jews are known as the "People of the Book" for good reason. The Torah, otherwise known as the Hebrew Bible, has inspired debate and sparked imaginations for
Excerpted with permission from Every Person's Guide to Shavuot (Jason Aronson, Inc). In traditional settings, the Book of Ruth is read on the second day of Shavuot. The book is about a Moabite woman who, after her husband dies, follows her Israelite
We Need More Jewish Debate, Not Less By Barry Schwartz Some will tell you that we need less debate in the Jewish community that for the sake of unity we need to stifle dissent and limit the amount
Has your family ever led a Seder before? Are there young children present? Is it all adult? Do you enjoy discussions or would you rather just get on with the meal? There are many Haggadot to choose
At the start of Shalom Auslander’s staggeringly nervy new novel “Hope A Tragedy,” a doleful Jewish non farmer named Solomon Kugel climbs fearfully into the attic of his recently acquired farmhouse. He hopes the tapping sounds
The Arts Comic ReliefLeah F. Finkelshteyn What is “Yiddishkeit”? The term encompasses Jewish culture, secular or religious. Its language, Yiddish, was born from a fusion of Hebrew, German and Slavic tongues. Its attitude can be cultured and warm or
Lisa Alcalay Klug’s new book, Cool Jew The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe, is a history and how to manual of…well, being a cool Jew. Among other things, she has a yarmulke decoder,
With 2011 coming to a close and the holiday season upon us, you may be looking for some books as gifts to friends, or yourself, of great Jewish reading. Michael Lerner compiled a list of 100 significant books from the last 25
Summer ends, and things begin to get a little more hectic. That's why we're recommending a bit of "light" that we think you'll kvell over. Take a break from preparing your holiday meals and pick one up today Stars of
It's finally time to brush off those beach blankets, pull out those umbrellas and head to the beach or pool What better than to relax under the sun with a good book? Why not try a book from one
Spring means that summer is right around the corner Every summer, we sit at the beach or pool and dive into a great book, but why wait? This year, spend your spring reading some of the best books in
Reprinted from My Jewish Learning Sarah Bernhardt flirted with the novelist Alexandre Dumas, posed for the painter Alphonse Mucha, had an affair with Victor Hugo, and was, in the late 19th century, the most famous actress in the world.Bernhardt was
New Jewish Voices The Foundation for Jewish Culture has awarded the 2010 Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers to Joanna Smith Rakoff for her debut novel, A Fortunate Age. Joanna Smith Rakoff is the author of the novel
A new Nextbook Press biography of Hillel makes clear that the rabbi's words and thoughts—though millennia old—resonate today By Joseph Telushkin According to rabbinic tradition, Hillel the Elder, one of the great sages in Jewish history, died 2,000 years ago,
On rootlessness and family trees By Josh Lambert A midsummer day’s nightmare shlepping all your worldly possessions to a new apartment. Everybody wants to settle in before the High Holidays and the school year starts, making June, July, and August
Men of Mystery Alan Furst’s bestselling spy novels depict the secret allegiances and betrayals that animated interwar and wartime Europe, but what distinguishes his work from others who’ve toiled in the genre is the attention he pays to the
Back in April, JBooks teamed up with Peet's Coffee & Tea to present a very interesting live event in which Elinor Lipman kibbitzed with Anita Diamant about Diamant's latest novel, Day After Night, and a batch of other Interesting Things
By Elinor Lipman "I came up with the opening line standing at my stove, then went up to my computer and pretty much wrote it," says Elinor Lipman about this story. "I liked the sound of the 'Jews on the