Review: Judas

By David Herman, September 8, 2016

By Amos Oz (Trans: Nicholas de Lange)
Chatto & Windus, £18.99

Judas is set in Israel in the winter of 1959-60. The central character, Shmuel Ash, a young student, in his mid-twenties, faces a crisis. He abandons his studies, his relationship breaks down, his father's finances have collapsed and he decides to leave Jerusalem.


Super agent's new deal

By Barry Toberman, September 8, 2016

Jon Smith - self-proclaimed "first of the football super-agents" - is much in demand as a talking head, pontificating for TV and radio on the state of the market. As he well knows, it is all good publicity for his new biography, The Deal, published a week after the August 31 transfer deadline day to avoid the media frenzy and thus maximise promotional opportunities.


Review: Here I Am

By David Herman, September 2, 2016

By Jonathan Safran Foer
Hamish Hamilton, £20

By the time he was 30, Jonathan Safran Foer had published two acclaimed novels, Everything is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005). He had also married Nicole Krauss, like Foer one of the leading Jewish-American writers of their generation.


Review: Shrunk

By Stanley Price, September 2, 2016

By Oliver Black
Prospero Press, £9.99

The brief biography on the back of Oliver Black's book describes him as a professor of philosophy and a burnt-out corporate lawyer. The category of his book is given as Humour/Memoir. It has an abundant share of both. As befits the author's name, the humour is black, often to the point of jet.


Children's Books: Guest in the nest

By Angela Kiverstein, September 1, 2016

Child actor Jake is adored for his role in Market Square, a TV soap. But his character went upstairs six months ago and it is not clear if he will ever come down. The uncertainty makes it hard for Jake to get other parts and his family - pushy dad, exhausted mum and autistic brother Adam - are struggling with the financial and emotional pressure.


Review: Power and Pragmatism

By Martin Bright, August 26, 2016

By Malcolm Rifkind
Biteback Publishing, £20

On any objective measure, Sir Malcolm Rifkind has led a fascinating life at the highest level of politics. He served as a minister from the moment Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 until the Labour landslide of 1997.


Review: Les Parisiennes

By Madeleine Kingsley, August 26, 2016

By Anne Sebba
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20

Anne Sebba's tour de force of research and reflection, Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s is a testament of silk and sacrifice; of choices to resist or collaborate with the Nazis; of dalliance, defiance, and survival that turned on a concierge's random kindness or a stick of gelignite strapped to th


The violinist, the Nazis and the Ouija

By Jessica Duchen, August 25, 2016

My novel, Ghost Variations, is a fictionalised account of how the Violin Concerto by Robert Schumann came to light in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, 80 years after the composer's death.

The true story, though, is stranger than fiction. And finding the right format for that story, and a means to disseminate it, was suitably strange, too.


A Jewish-Asian love affair

By Jessica Weinstein, August 25, 2016

Amy Chua, the notorious "Tiger Mom", described it as the "triple package". This is the idea that minority groups such as Jews and Asians experience disproportionate success because of shared values, which spring from the immigrant experience - namely insecurity and outsiderdom, "good impulse control", and what she refers to as a "superiority complex".


Review: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan

By Sipora Levy, August 18, 2016

By Ruth Gilligan
Atlantic, £12.99

Ruth Gilligan has turned on its head the old adage that a novelist should write about what he or she knows. Instead, she has confidently written about what she wanted to know - namely, the history and experience of Jews living in Ireland.