Books

Stories and pictures

By Sipora Levy, February 27, 2013

The poet and art critic, Sue Hubbard, has written a richly layered book about Paula Modersohn-Becker, a little-known but pioneering expressionist German painter of the early 20th century, whose tragically short life produced over 400 paintings and drawings of exceptional quality (Girl in White, Cinnamon Press, £8.99).

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Sisters in step: feisty, funny female fighters for Israel

By Amanda Craig, February 27, 2013

What is it like to be a woman soldier in the Israel Defence Forces? The 25-year-old Israeli novelist Shani Boianjiu has personal experience of it, and her answer is: a mixture of boredom, fear and sexual frustration.

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When email is hate mail

By Robert Low, February 22, 2013

James Lasdun is a British novelist and poet who has made his home in the US. His father was the distinguished architect, Sir Denys Lasdun, who designed the National Theatre. He has a Jewish background but not upbringing. Indeed, he was set to be confirmed into the Church of England at boarding school but pulled out when he realised he had no faith.

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Moses amid the rushes

By David Herman, February 8, 2013

A.B. Yehoshua’s latest novel is a story in two halves. It begins in Spain, in Santiago de Compostela, where Yair Moses, an Israeli film director, has come to attend a retrospective season of his films. Like Yehoshua himself, Moses is in his 70s. He has come with Ruth, his leading lady. It feels like a great director’s last hurrah, looking back over his work — and his life.

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Two transvestites get the best of briefs

By Monica Porter, February 8, 2013

It was one of the 19th century’s most sensational court cases. In April 1870, two young, cross-dressing homosexuals had been arrested in full drag at London’s Strand Theatre, where they had been deporting themselves outrageously, flouncing about and flirting with the men.

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Reckless moves

By Joy Sable, February 8, 2013

What’s a nice Jewish girl doing in a city like Tehran? That’s precisely where Clair Symonds found herself after winning a place in Iran’s national ballet company. Yes, Iran actually had its own classical company in the years before the coming of the Ayatollah Khomeini and his strict Muslim regime saw its demise.

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City reveals hidden gems

By Stoddard Martin, February 1, 2013

The wife of the Lord Mayor of London introduces this book. She tells how Harold Samuel became Britain’s “first post-war millionaire” by building up Land Securities partly through acquisition of bomb-sites whose attraction was “location, location, location”.

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Who is abuser, who is abused?

By Madeleine Kingsley, February 1, 2013

From the very first page of Alessandro Piperno’s second novel, you know that dark times will deluge Leo Pontecorvo, an eminent paediatric oncologist: a family dinner at his stylish Roman villa is besmirched by a TV news item, insinuating that this dashing Jewish saviour of sick children has seduced a 12-year-old girl, a friend of his own son.

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Win tickets to Jewish Book Week

January 31, 2013

Jewish Book Week — London’s biggest international literary festival — starts on February 23. Highlights this year include discussions with historian Simon Schama and former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and sessions featuring novelists A B Yehoshua and Francesca Segal.
Now you have the chance to win tickets to a choice of Book Week events.

Simply answer the question:

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Perfectly formed fiction

By David Herman, January 25, 2013

The golden age of Jewish American literature began with a short story: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities by Delmore Schwartz. Since then, from Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus and Bellow’s Mosby’s Memoirs to Cynthia Ozick and Grace Paley, the short story has arguably been the great Jewish American literary genre.

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