David Unger’s tale of dislocation, ‘The Price of Escape,’ follows his father’s trajectory from Nazi Germany to the Central American country.
Readers of literary fiction in America have coveted Latin American writers for years. Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño are even household names here. But when was the last time you heard about a great Guatemalan author? And more specifically, one who is Jewish?
Enter David Unger, author of the dark and riveting new novel, “The Price of Escape,” which follows a Jewish refugee who flees Nazi Germany and ends up in Guatemala. The story was inspired by the strange journey Unger’s own father.
In ‘The Choosing,’ Rabbi Andrea Myers documents a coming out, a conversion, a life in Israel and much more.
Jewish Week Book Critic
Rabbi Andrea Myers has many facets to her identity.
She is the daughter of a Sicilian Catholic mother and German Lutheran father; she came out as a lesbian while a student at Brandeis University, converted to Judaism in Israel and studied for the rabbinate in New York. Now 39 and married to a rabbi, she is rabbi and rebbetzin, a mother, teacher and writer.
“Any major life change should only make you more of who you are,” she says in an interview, noting these words have guided her own journey, and she uses them to help others.
In chronicling Gandhi’s life, Joseph Lelyveld was partly influenced by his own father, a civil rights activist and rabbi.
Many of the main points Joseph Lelyveld was trying to make in his new biography of Mohandas Gandhi were lost last month amid the outcry over the book’s most salacious suggestion: that the Indian leader may have been gay. But in an interview with the Jewish Week, Lelyveld, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former editor of The New York Times, tried to set the record straight.
At 80, and with three new books, the literary critic-as-provocateur is still picking fights over the Bible, Kabbalah and Shakespeare.
Harold Bloom, the eminent literary critic at Yale, will turn 81 this summer, and he does not plan to exit the stage quietly.
“Christianity? Christianity?” he said in a recent phone interview, when asked about his views on the Christian interpretation of Judaism. “The New Testament is a violently anti-Semitic reading of the Hebrew Bible.”
In “My Race,” a Jewish athlete describes what it was like to grow up amid apartheid.
After her grandchildren — twin girls — were born 12 years ago and she became a grandmother for the first time, Lorraine Abramson started thinking about her own, long-gone grandparents.
Growing up in South Africa during the heart of the apartheid era, Abramson, a prominent amateur athlete and member of a Jewish (i.e., white) family, knew three of her grandparents, who had grown up in Eastern Europe in a time of open anti-Semitism.
They had led entirely different lives than she did.
No novel has mined Philadelphia’s Jewish working class as powerfully as ‘Rich Boy.’
Jewish Week Book Critic
Robert Vishniak grew up on a Northeast Philadelphia street lined with identical narrow row houses, with clotheslines laced between them, canvas work shirts flapping in the wind. It was part of the Oxford Circle neighborhood of Sharon Pomerantz’s first novel “Rich Boy” (Twelve), which was crowded with Vishniak relatives and others who kept few secrets. Robert’s father shuttled between two jobs, as a postal worker and security guard; his mother ferried school kids to safety as a crossing guard; and Robert determined to have a very different life.
From a Booker Prize-winning novel to a hit film to hip JCC programming,
a new Jewish confidence alongside increased anti-Semitism.
Special To The Jewish Week
‘Things are beginning to be vibrant — there is a new, unapologetic and unashamed generation, less worried about what will happen if the British notice there are Jews living here,” said British Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson, the 2010 winner of Britain’s most important literary prize, the Man Booker Prize, for his novel “The Finkler Question.”