Review: Suspended Sentences

By David Herman, January 8, 2015

By Patrick Modiano(trans: Mark Polizzotti)

Yale/Margellos £12.99

The literary event of 2014 was the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Patrick Modiano, about whom little was known in the UK.

Modiano, from a French Sephardi family, was born in a Paris suburb in 1945.


Review: Sex versus Survival

By Irma Kurtz, January 8, 2015

By John Launer
Duckworth £20

A biographer must untangle the web of another's life. And given the maxim, "physician, heal thyself", what a tangled web that is when the other is an early practitioner of psychoanalysis and, furthermore, a woman.


Towering Babel

By David Herman, December 19, 2014

Isaac Babel’s short-story collection, Red Cavalry, was first published in 1926. The stories describe Babel’s experience of fighting with the Cossacks against the Poles in the Russo-Polish war (1919-20), one of the most violent conflicts of the early 20th century. Babel was in his mid-20s, Jewish, bald, bespectacled and far from being a born warrior.


Interview: Richard Young

By Sandy Rashty, December 18, 2014

'Could we please postpone," calls in Richard Young, days before our interview. "I'll be in no fit state to meet then."


Review: The Fires of Autumn

By Anne Garvey, December 18, 2014

By Irène Némirovsky
Chatto & Windus, £16.99

Irène Némirovsky fled revolutionary Russia in 1918 with her family. She was 15 years old. The only daughter of a hugely wealthy Jewish businessman and alienated all her life from her hated mother, she was close to her French governess. Everything desirable, culturally, linguistically, imaginatively, was French.


The Archaeology of Anglo-Jewry in England and Wales 1656-1880

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 18, 2014

By Kenneth Marks
Archaeopress, £35

What physical evidence is there of Jewish life in England between the Cromwellian resettlement and the eve of the great migration of Jews into the country from Eastern Europe after 1881?


Creating the stereotyped root of evil

By Sara Lipton, December 11, 2014

The canard of the money-loving Jew, raised most recently by the owner of Wigan Athletic football club, is, of course, a centuries-old prejudice. It also has a familiar face.


Interview: Jeremy Robson

By Sandy Rashty, December 11, 2014

Jeremy Robson has published headline-grabbing celebrities-turned-authors, from Muhammad Ali to Joan Collins and Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel.

He remembers driving Ali around the UK on a promotional book tour from Oxford to Brixton, describing the Muslim-convert as a man on the look-out for religious debate.


Review: The Land Agent

By Clive Sinclair, December 11, 2014

By J David Simons
Saraband, £16.99

Lev Gottleib is an unusually passive hero, whose life is guided by chance and the passions of others. We first meet him in 1919, when he is the teenage citizen of a generic Poland. Not for long. His whorish stepmother - having taught him to type on a lovingly rendered Kanzler 1B - soon persuades his father to sail for America.


A Brief Stop on the Road to Auschwitz

By Robert Low, December 11, 2014

By Göran Rosenberg

Granta, £16.99

David Rosenberg's brief stop on his road from Auschwitz was the small seaside town of Södertälje, 30 kilometres south of Stockholm, where he pitched up in 1947. He had arrived in Sweden in 1945, in his early twenties, one of 10,000 refugees taken in by the Swedish government immediately after the war.