Summer Reading

Summer Reading June 2013

A Couple Of Greenhorns, Magical Realism Style,
‘What If The Messiah Is A Woman?’

06/18/2013
Summer Reading June 2013

Members Of The Tribe, Members Of The Team

Two new books — one about Hank Greenberg, one about Jews’ roles in the black leagues — explore the American Jewish baseball experience.

Staff Writer
06/21/2011

Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One. Mark Kurlansky, Jewish Lives, 164 pages, $25.

Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball. Rebecca Alpert, Oxford University Press, 236 pages, $27.95.

Studies of a Jewish baseball star and of early Jewish sports entrepreneurs offer new look at a slice of American Jewish history.

Lingering Moods And Voices

Evan Fallenberg’s poetic tale of life, love and art in Tel Aviv is full of history and passion.

Jewish Week Book Critic
06/21/2011

I’m often asked about what makes a particular book worthy of attention. It’s easy to point to books that illuminate new ideas or inspire different ways of thinking; novels that are unforgettable for their characters or style of storytelling; works with luminous prose; or memoirs of extraordinary or even quite ordinary lives, recounted with large doses of candor and bigheartedness.

Author Evan Fallenberg studied dance for two years to inhabit the life of his main character, Teo.

Summer Reading In The City

From Brighton Beach magic shows to Upper West Side shoe store murders to Morocco and Ukraine, books by local Jewish authors travel the city and the world.

Jewish Week Book Critic
06/21/2011

‘I am Vaclav the Magnificent,” the young magician introduces his performance, explaining that he comes from a “land of enchanted knowledge passed down from the ages” and is reappearing “here, in America, in New York, in Brooklyn (which is a Borough), near Coney Island, which is a famous place of magic in the great land of opportunity (which is, of course, America), where anyone can become anything, where a hobo today is tomorrow a businessman in a three-pieces suit and a businessman yesterday is later this afternoon a hobo.”

Goodie One Shoes Cover.

Summer Reading June 2011

Voices that linger after the pages are turned and a look back at the American Jewish baseball experience.

06/21/2011
Summer Reading June 2011

From Boxing To The Bedouins

A roundup of new nonfiction titles.

Jewish Week Book Critic
06/16/2010

 This season offers some remarkable new nonfiction titles, on some unexpected, previously unexplored topics. Readers can imagine — and try to understand — other lives, other times.

Binnie Klein’s memoir, “Blows to the Head"

A Deep Freeze

Thoughtful new novel introduces a cryogenically preserved
chasidic sage to modern-day suburban Memphis.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/16/2010

 What better way to chill out at the beach this summer than with “The Frozen Rabbi” (Algonquin)? Novelist Steve Stern’s entrancingly zany fable interlaces the mystery and mysticism of Old World Yiddish folklore with the New Age spiritual yearnings of today, and all through the magic of a story well told.

The Ice Reb cometh: Steve Stern’s magical realism mixes Sholom Aleichem with Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Henry Roth’s Final Journey

On the occasion of a new posthumous novel, Roth’s last editor reflects on a complicated legacy.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/16/2010

 Having worked intensely with the reclusive Henry Roth for the last four years of his life, sculpting thousands of manuscript pages into his four-volume “Mercy of a Rude Stream” series, and now having overseen the editing of his final, posthumous novel, “An American Type,” I have unwittingly become something of an Roth authority. 

The young Henry Roth: From the Lower East Side to the heart of America. Hugh Roth/Norton

Song Of The Open Road

In ‘An American Type,’ Henry Roth suggests that there is a heavy price to be paid for America’s freedom, and for Jewishness itself.

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

The wisest way to approach a posthumous novel is with low expectations. Given that, you wouldn’t be wrong to afford some grace to Henry Roth’s new posthumous novel, “An American Type” (Norton), cobbled together from 1,900 disordered manuscript pages that were left untouched for nearly a decade after he died. And yet the book hardly needs it. 

An American Type
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