Books

Ayelet Waldman: a mother's tale

By Sipora Levy, May 23, 2014

Ayelet Waldman seems to have it all. Not only has she had two successful careers — first as a defence lawyer and now as an acclaimed writer — but she has also enjoyed a long and happy marriage to the Pulitzer prizewinning novelist Michael Chabon, with whom she has four beautiful children.

Yet, in Bad Mother, she sets out to describe her imperfections.

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A better mother than a writer?

By David Herman, May 23, 2014

Love and Treasure author Ayelet Waldman has written seven mystery novels, The Mommy-Track Mysteries, and three other works of fiction but is probably best known for Bad Mother, which set off a lively controversy when first published in the US in 2009.

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Maths made interesting, even for the number-phobic

By Simon Round, May 23, 2014

What is your favourite number? Statistically, it is likely to be 7, according to research by Alex Bellos, the author of this follow-up to his popular book on maths, Alex in Numberland.

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Bernard Kops - not just an East End chronicler

By Jeremy Solomons, May 16, 2014

Bernard Kops, who is now 87, is best known as a vivid chronicler of the Jewish East End. But, in Bernard Kops: Fantasist, London Jew, Apocalyptic Humorist (Rowman & Littlefield, £39.95) William Baker and Jeanette Roberts Shumaker offer a view of the vast range of a fearless, fascinating writer.

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Andrew Sanger: love and loathing in London

By Amanda Craig, May 16, 2014

Andrew Sanger’s second novel, set in North London, is about the confluence of three strangers who change each other’s lives.

Bernard Kassin is an observant Jew and family man who has taken it upon himself to be vigilant for his community, acting on behalf of the elderly and frightened and against planning appeals and corrupt officials.

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Alice Hoffman's freak show

By Madeleine Kingsley, May 16, 2014

Lyrical and luminous, The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman’s love story of, and for, bygone New York. Anyone who’s read her Masada novel, The Dovekeepers, already knows that Hoffman is no plain prose author, more a mistress of dreamscape and illusion.

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Loving lament for a bully

By Madeleine Kingsley, May 9, 2014

It is hard to imagine the musical tyrant known as Mr K lasting long as a teacher today. Any 21st-century Mr K, with stomping foot and furiously flailing baton, would surely be disciplined for reducing his first violins to tears and forcibly paring their fingernails with his pocket clippers.

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Pulitzer winner in prize form

By Stoddard Martin, May 9, 2014

Traditionally, poetry has given order to the wayward word. Rhyme, metre, regularity of stanza — all give shape to a story or lyrical idea. Prose might perambulate — its paragraphs of different sizes, its dialogue recording language as spoken, not the stuff of incantation.

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Loveless lives in heartless cities

By David Herman, May 2, 2014

David Vogel was born in the Russian Pale, a member of that extraordinary generation of Russian-Jewish writers, born in the 1890s, which included Isaac Babel and Boris Pasternak. In 1912, he moved to Vienna, where he taught Hebrew to make ends meet.

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Gemma Levine - portrait of a photographer

By Julia Weiner, May 2, 2014

Gemma Levine, many of whose portrait photographs have appeared in the Jewish Chronicle over the years, and who has produced several books, has now brought together a number of her best photographs in a memoir about her professional life.

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