Virginia Baily's second novel, Early One Morning, packs the emotional punch of Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française - or so her publishers would have you believe. They exaggerate; Baily is a competent writer with an eye for pretty details and an ear for the pain and regret that can echo in the most banal of exchanges.
Conversion is an emotive subject in Judaism, and rarely have I seen the complexity of joining our community better articulated than in Alison Pick's new memoir. Pick, a successful novelist here and in her native Canada, grew up without Judaism in her life and without any real hunger for it - or indeed for any organised religion.
His SS Nazi Party identification card, dated 1936, shows a sombre-looking young man with short-cropped hair and round-rimmed spectacles. His rather protruding ears add to the air of 1930s dorkiness. Just another quasi-intellectual Nazi bureaucrat, you might think.
'We lived in a nice house with a garden in a Berlin suburb. We had friends and a dog (though I really wanted a cat) and seaside holidays and a very pleasant, normal life. My parents didn't read to me. We were a very literate household but I think the idea of bedtime stories was purely an English one in those days; this was the 1920s and 1930s!
Now that best-selling thriller writer "Sam Bourne" has been "outed", the owner of that pen name - Guardian executive editor and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland - is no longer wrapping himself in mystery.
Making sense of the world's myriad conflicts is difficult at the best of times. Without a map, and an explanation of geography, it is almost impossible. Words can tell you what is happening, the map helps you to understand why it is happening.
Leonard Michaels was born in New York in 1933 and spent his last decade in Tuscany. He spoke Yiddish until he was six and a good deal of Italian before he died. In the half-century between, he wrote in English and taught literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Some claim him as one of the masters of style of his period.
Etgar Keret is trying to explain to his little boy why fathers protect their sons: "'The world we live in can sometimes be very rough. And it's only fair that everyone who's born into it should have at least one person who'll be there to protect him.' 'What about you?'" Lev asks. "'Who'll protect you now that Grandpa's dead?'"
'It's good to have him back", Salman Rushdie wrote at the beginning of the Stefan Zweig revival. "Stefan Zweig just tastes fake," wrote the critic and translator, Michael Hofmann. "He's the Pepsi of Austrian writing."