Review: Ancient israel

By Gabriel Josipovici, July 17, 2014

By Robert Alter
W. W. Norton, £15.99

Human beings love stories. But when stories are written down and become important to the community that produced them they start to be scrutinised and questioned, and then a curious thing happens: they lose their magic and become simply the carriers of moral, ethical and metaphysical messages.


Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France

By Anne Sebba, July 10, 2014

By Caroline Moorehead

Chatto & Windus, £20

As the Second World War ended and the various welfare organisations took stock of the tragedy that had overtaken Nazi-occupied France, they estimated there were some 5,000-6,000 Jewish children who were now orphans, whether hidden in non-Jewish homes around France or over the border in Spain or Switzerland.


Review: American Innovations

By Madeleine Kingsley, July 10, 2014

By Rivka Galchen
4th Estate, £14.99

This collection of short stories will shake your expectations of the little-gem fictional form. The American Innovations of Rivka Galchen, Oklahoma-raised daughter of Israeli immigrants, are as original, particular and digressive as her provenance. They deliver a delicious blend of desolation and deadpan, laugh-aloud drollery.


Review: Hotel Andromeda

By Stoddard Martin, July 3, 2014

By Gabriel Josipovici
Carcanet, £12.95

Gabriel Josipovici's qualities of thought and craft put him near the top among writers of his generation. His range and productivity in novel and essay are vast, and he is fortunate to have a publisher who understands the importance of the slight and the experimental within a finished oeuvre.


Review: Upstairs at the Party

By Bryan Cheyette, July 3, 2014

By Linda Grant
Virago, £14.99

Upstairs at the Party is Linda Grant's sixth novel. It contains many of her familiar preoccupations - a family secret, second-generation Jewish heroines from Liverpool, the relationship between surfaces and depths - but it also differs markedly from her previous work.


Literary treasure houses

By Stoddard Martin, June 26, 2014

Silent Conversations: A reader's Life
By Anthony Rudolf
Seagull Books/Univ of Chicago, £24.50

The House of Twenty Thousand Books
By Sasha Abramsky
Halban Publishers, £14.95

Anthony Rudolf is a man of letters, goodwill and generosity.


Becoming Freud: The Making of a Pyschoanalyst

By Stephen Frosh, June 19, 2014

By Adam Phillips
Yale University Press, £18.99

There seems to be an insatiable appetite for books about Sigmund Freud, despite the displacement of psychoanalysis as a practice of psychotherapy by cognitive behaviour therapy and other hybrids combining talking, thinking and doing.


Review: Divided Lives

By Anne Sebba, June 19, 2014

By Lyndall Gordon
Virago, £20

Exploring the relationship between mothers and daughters is a well-mined seam, resulting in gems such as Louisa M Alcott's Little Women and Susan Chitty's painful account of her mother, the novelist Antonia White.


The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

By David Herman, June 12, 2014

By Joël Dicker
Maclehouse Press, £20

Joël Dicker became Europe's publishing sensation of 2013 when his book La Vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert sold more than a million copies in France. Now an international bestseller, it is likely to be the top holiday read this summer.

Dicker's novel is the story of two writers. Marcus Goldman is (like Dicker) still in his 20s.


An Amazing Murmur of the Heart

By Stephen Frosh, June 12, 2014

By Cecil Helman
Hammersmith Books, £12.99

Cecil Helman, who died in 2009, was a South African-born, Jewish, London GP and anthropologist, recognised for his textbook, Culture, Health and Illness, and particularly for his autobiographical volume, Suburban Shaman, published in 2006.