Review: Rosenfeld’s Lives

By David Herman, July 2, 2009

Steven J Zipperstein
Yale University Press, £20

‘It should have been Isaac,” said Saul Bellow when awarded the Nobel Prize. “Isaac” was his Chicago childhood friend, Isaac Rosenfeld, writer and essayist, who died tragically at 38.


Stay cold-blooded in the sun

By Jenni Frazer, June 25, 2009

Tyro novelists are always told: “Write what you know.” Sometimes — as in experienced non-fiction writer Adam LeBor’s thoroughly enjoyable debut, the political thriller, The Budapest Protocol — this means the reader benefits from a wealth of a particular author’s experience. And Lebor’s hero Alex Farkas is, funnily enough, a British journalist based in Hungary — just like LeBor himself.


Children's Books

By Angela Kiverstein, June 17, 2009

Children up to the age of 14 have the chance to launch a writing career, with the help of the Usborne Young Writers Award, launched last night by BBC presenter Emily Maitlis (pictured below). Authors Malcolm Rose, Leila Rasheed, Graham Marks, Ann Bryant and Sue Mongredien have written the openings to some intriguing stories, which entrants are invited to complete. The five winners will receive a trip to Usborne House in London to meet the authors, plus other prizes including £100 of Usborne books and an author visit to the winners’ schools. Full details at


Review: The Quickening Maze

By David Herman, June 17, 2009

The Quickening Maze
By Adam Foulds
Jonathan Cape, £12.99
Reviewed by David Herman

Adam Foulds’ first book, The Truth About These Strange Times (2007), won him The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. He followed this with The Broken Word (2008), a verse novella set during the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, which also won awards and critical acclaim.

The Quickening Maze could not be more different from both. It tells the story of the 19th-century poet, John Clare, who went mad and was locked up in a small private asylum in Essex.


Review: Be a Nose

By Ivy Garlitz, June 17, 2009

Be a Nose
By Art Spiegelman
Atlantic, £19.99
Reviewed by ivy Garlitz

In Be A Nose, a collection of sketchbooks of his work, Art Spiegelman reflects his illustrious career in comics, going back to his beginnings in the American underground “comix” of the 1960s and 1970s, his founding of the avant-garde magazine RAW, and the publication of his ground-breaking graphic novel, Maus. The three sketchbooks are published in facsimile along with a pamphlet containing Speigelman’s commentary.


Soldier’s tale? No, just war tourism lit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2009

There is nothing unusual about Seth Freedman’s story (Can I Bring My Own Gun? Five Leaves/Guardian Books, £8.99). Young British Jew leaves life of comfort to follow his Zionist ideals. Emigrates to Israel, joins the army (15 months in uniform giving him a lifetime’s supply of anecdotes), then, back on civvie street, he begins asking himself questions and becomes disillusioned with most of those ideals.


Book Review: Voodoo Histories

By Adam Lebor, June 11, 2009

Voodoo Histories
By David Aaronovitch
Jonathan Cape, £17.99

Who is this so-called “David Aaronovitch”? A high-profile columnist for the Jewish Chronicle, part of the British arm of ZOG — the Zionist Occupation Government — Aaronovitch also writes for The Times, which is controlled by the Australian Rupert Murdoch, a senior member of The Illuminati. A former communist turned liberal, Aaronovitch may even be Elder of Zion number seven, in charge of propaganda and disinformation.


interview: Sana Krasikov - Georgia’s on her mind

By Francesca Segal, June 11, 2009

Sana Krasikov is remarkably upbeat for someone recovering from swine flu. But then, she has a great deal to buoy her up — named by the National Book Foundation as one of the most promising writers under 35, she has just won a $100,000 prize awarded by the Jewish Book Council for her debut short-story collection, One More Year, and the critical response has been correspondingly phenomenal.


Reviews: Becoming English and Black Orchids

By Madeleine Kingsley, June 4, 2009

Becoming English
By Eva Tucker
Starhaven, £9

Black Orchids
By Gillian Slovo
Virago, £7.99

‘The past”, as LP Hartley movingly wrote, “is another country”. For Eva Tucker and Gillian Slovo, that “otherness” was more than mere metaphor. Uprooted from their countries of birth (Tucker, early, from Germany; Slovo, famously, from South Africa), both were transplanted here to a shock reality that continues to imbue their writing.


Flying (and sex) machines

By Stoddard Martin, June 4, 2009

Fighter heroes of WW1
By Joshua Levine
Collins, £8.99

Spitfire Girls
By Carol Gould
Arrow, £6.99