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Jewish Journal

Tag: Fiction

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  • Spying for Mossad, Israeli author never forsook fiction [Q&A]

    October 22, 2013 | 4:44 pm

    For retired Israeli spy Mishka Ben-David, writing fiction was a realization of artistic aspirations he had long suppressed.

    Ben-David had a doctorate in Hebrew literature and four books published when the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad recruited him in 1987. He agreed to...

  • What would my Israeli grandmother think?

    By Rebecca Spence

    May 17, 2013 | 11:06 am

    When I hear about the latest events in Israel – the air strikes on weapons facilities in Syria, the flare-ups over women donning prayer shawls at the Western Wall – I can’t help but wonder: What would my Israeli grandmother think?

    After all, she spent her young life fighting for...

  • On the tricky question of ‘who is a Jew[ish writer]?’

    By David Wolpe

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I do not know who qualifies as a Jewish writer.

    If you wish to count the non-Jewish John Updike because he created a Jewish protagonist (Henry Bech) or if you include genetically Jewish Muriel Spark (who converted to Catholicism and wouldn't know a box of tefillin or a bag of...

  • Books: Philip Roth’s Zuckerman has left the building

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    October 4, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Exit Ghost" by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $26).

    Can one be a major writer, talented, famous, lionized and still be a fool?

    The case for the prosecution is "Exit Ghost" by Philip Roth. Roth is a very gifted writer. His eye is keen, his descriptive powers as dazzling as the days...

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  • Books: A stranger on a journey

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Sometimes I envision Lillian Leyb walking along Upper Broadway in New York, or trudging up subway stairs. She's solid-looking and pretty, dressed in a mix of hand-me-downs and carrying a worn satchel, still young but with a hard life evident in her step.

    In Amy Bloom's novel "Away,"...

  • Want to hear a story?

    By Gina Nahai

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    So I'm at the Jewish Book Council's (JBC) open auditions, in the main sanctuary of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan, in the front row of the L-Z section of authors who have written a book with a Jewish theme and who would like to sell more than three...
  • Combining fact and fiction confuses peace event

    By  Orit Arfa

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    On June 5, the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, two years after standing side-by-side with friends in Gush Katif in an attempt to ward off the evacuation of Gaza, I attended an Israeli-Palestinian peace event marking "40 years of war and occupation" at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
    ...
  • Call to ‘write and record’ brings new books on Shoah

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    April 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    "Write and record," historian Simon Dubnow urged his fellow Jews, as he was taken to his death in Riga. Over the decades since Dubnow's murder in 1941, many have taken his words to heart, and scholars, survivors, novelists, poets, members of the second and third generations continue...
  • Minimalist Keret Reads

    By Jessica Steinberg

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Etgar Keret is coming to Los Angeles, but fear not. This brilliant young Israeli writer of his generation, a skillful satirist who seems to have a knack for expressing the emotions, thoughts and language of his peers, has not gone completely Hollywood.

    He has returned to fiction,...

  • Readers finally get their say at JBook.com’s Peoples’ Choice Awards

    By Sue Fishkoff

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The people have spoken, and they spake Foer.
     
    "Everything Is Illuminated," Jonathan Safran Foer's tragi-comic tale of a young American Jew's journey through Ukraine in search of his grandfather's roots, is the first winner of JBooks.com's People's Choice Award for the decade's...
  • Clues to family drama’s Jewish roots finally add up on ‘Numb3rs’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Add family drama plus FBI action, and the sum equals CBS's hit drama, "Numb3rs." The show, which just started its third season, is as much about fathers and sons as it is about using mathematics to solve crimes. Alan Eppes (Judd Hirsch) is the widowed patriarch to two disparate...
  • Finding Deeper Truths in Fiction—the Best About Israel

    By Alana Newhouse

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In recent weeks, many of us "Diaspora Jews" kept ourselves neck-deep in news from the Middle East: jumping out of bed to check the front page, keeping the television on all night, refreshing Web sites for the latest headlines. Of course, our routine paled in comparison to many...

  • Deeds Not Words Will Reveal Real Gibson

    By Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    There is a silver lining, although not necessarily an obvious one, in the recent events surrounding Mel Gibson's diatribe against Jews. That silver lining is not Gibson's apology but the fact that he seems to have felt it necessary to apologize. It has long occurred to me that...
  • The Perfect Reads for Those Lazy Days of Summer

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I read and write during several days of rain in New York City, and I think about Los Angeles beaches, bleached with sunshine. So reclining on a couch isn't the same as stretching out on a blanket and listening to the surf, but there's a certain similar lazy quality, with pockets of...

  • Irreverent Stories You Haven’t Heard

    By Amy Klein

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "All your stories are the same," a British girl in an MFA creative writing program tells the Jewish students in one of the short stories in Elisa Albert's new collection, "How This Night Is Different" (Free Press, $18). "I just feel like I read the same stories over and over again...

  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    July 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, July 8
    The Hollywood Palladium’s got the beat tonight. Head there for ’80s retro fun wrapped up in a good cause. Bet Tzedek — The House of Justice presents its annual Justice Ball benefit with headliners The Go-Go’s.

    8:30 p.m. $75-$150. Hollywood Palladium, 6215...

  • Mother and Daughter Authors Are Klass Act

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Sheila Solomon Klass and Dr. in Perri Klass -- mother and daughter co-authors -- don't finish each other's sentences, but they do elaborate on them in Talmudic style, layering on comments, memories, opinions and their own interpretations of the same story.

    In a kitchen table...

  • Some ‘New’ Shoah Books Not So New

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    If there's an overriding theme among the newest books related to the Holocaust, it's one of concealment and discovery, whether in the writer's own wartime experience or invented on the page. Sometimes it's a case of lost books being rediscovered.

    Some of these "new" books were...

  • Letters

    February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Jack Abramoff

    We stand guilty as charged -- and we are proud of it.

    David Klinghoffer correctly notes ("In Defense of Jack Abramoff," Jan. 27) that Orthodox writers -- left, right, and center -- expressed their embarrassment about Jack Abramoff's behavior. Jews are meant to be...

  • Hitler and the ‘What If?’ Question

    By Noah Strote

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "The World Hitler Never Made," by Gavriel Rosenfeld (Cambridge University Press, $30).

    In 1979, comedian Al Franken wrote a skit for "Saturday Night Live" called "What if: Überman," featuring Dan Aykroyd as Klaus Kent, a clerk in Hitler's Ministry of Propaganda. Klaus dashes into...

  • Tommywood - Tale Still Compelling

    By Tom Teicholz

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Forty years ago this Oct. 15, Houghton Mifflin published "The Painted Bird" by Jerzy Kosinski. The book was immediately acclaimed as a must-read text on the Holocaust and the nature of human cruelty.

    In the years leading up to and following Kosinski's 1991 suicide, his reputation...

  • No Religious Bias in Racy ‘Bodice Rippers’

    By Keren Engelberg

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Fess up or don't, a lot of us are reading romance novels -- otherwise known as "bodice rippers." The numbers speak for themselves, accounting for 48 percent of all popular paperback fiction published, according to the Web site of the Romance Writers of America.

    And that "us"...

  • ‘Love With Noodles’ Rife With Canoodles

    By Dan Pine

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "Love With Noodles" by Harry I. Freund (Carroll & Graff, $25).

    Consider the curious case of Dan Gelder: 60 years old, Jewish, paunchy, bad back. Yet it seems every bejeweled Park Avenue matron is after the investment counselor for love, for money or maybe for just a quick roll in...

  • First Person - Documenting Hate

    By Daniel A. Olivas

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In late fall of 1999, I wrote a short story, "Summertime," which I eventually included in my collection, "Assumption and Other

    Stories" (Bilingual Press, 2003).

    When the book reviews started coming in, most noted that particular story's unsettling premise. But what fascinated me...

  • Medieval Me

    By Robert J. Avrech

    November 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    What books must every Jew read? What books are critical to informing your understanding of your faith, your culture, your people? With this issue, The Jewish Journal introduces a new weekly column: My Jewish Library. We've asked rabbis, scholars and thinkers to each pick the one...

  • Thriller Infiltrates

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "The Program" by Gregg Hurwitz (William Morrow, $24.95).

    "Cults are like a long con," crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz said. "They run a con on you but it can last 20 years. It's the ultimate con."

    Hurwitz's new page-turner, "The Program" reads like an expose of cult con artistry. In...

  • Dream Achievement

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Songbird" by Walter Zacharius (Atria Books, $24).

    In writing his first novel, "Songbird," Walter Zacharius has come to realize that being an author is far more difficult than being a publisher. The 80-year-old founder, chairman and CEO of Kensington Publishing has just published a...

  • Apocalypse, Nu?

    By Rachel Donadio

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A few years back, Irwyn Applebaum, the president of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group and a maestro of mass-market fiction, traveled to Rancho Mirage, for a meeting at the home of Tim LaHaye, the evangelical preacher and creator of the "Left Behind" series. The wildly best-selling...

  • Another Braff Tale of Jewish Ennui

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green" by Joshua Braff (Algonquin Books, $22.95).

    While fidgeting at Shabbat dinner, Jacob Green decides to play a game he calls "The Unthinkable" -- imagining blasphemies that would infuriate his super-strict father. Like hurling the challah...

  • The Arts

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The three A's in "Natasha" are filled in by tiny stylized Matryoshka dolls, the traditional Russian stacking dolls, on the book jacket of David Bezmozgis' radiant debut (Farrar Straus and Giroux, $18).

    In this collection of linked stories, the three figures at the center are a...

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