Books

Saul Bellow's Heart

By Josh Glancy, May 12, 2013

It can't have been easy being Saul Bellow's son. He was a towering genius, a womaniser, sharp of tongue and hard of mind, yet with a fragile core that shrank away from the type of personal criticism he was so adept at dispensing. Bellow's heart and mind were consumed by his work, producing novels that helped define post-war US literature.

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Hats in the Ring

By Simon Rocker, May 2, 2013

The Chief Rabbi may now represent less than half of British Jews but no communal office attracts greater interest. In the third of his studies of the chief rabbinate, former JC Judaism editor Dr Meir Persoff looks at how six of its incumbents were chosen, from Nathan Adler in 1844 to Lord Sacks.

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Innocent honesty inside an Aryan exterior

By Vanessa Curtis, April 11, 2013

Let Me Tell You A Story
Renata Calverley

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Poor bare, forked males

By Simon Round, April 11, 2013

If you buy only one quirky, surreal collection of comedy short stories about relationships this year, make it Simon Rich’s The Last Girlfriend on Earth (Serpent’s Tail, £9.99).

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‘Jews are defined by words, not religion or ethnicity’

By Simon Rocker, April 11, 2013

Frank Sinatra’s daughter Nancy once released a song called, These Boots are Made for Walking. Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger’s book, Jews and Words, could have been sub-titled, These Books are Made for Talking.

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Jodi Picoult on the Shoah

By Jennifer Lipman, April 4, 2013

It was perhaps inevitable that the reigning queen of moral-dilemma fiction would one day turn her attention to the Holocaust.

In her career so far — 20 novels and counting — American writer Jodi Picoult has delved into witchcraft, gun crime, suicide pacts and teenage cancer, not to mention the Amish and Native American communities.

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Can a psychoanalyst see through you?

By Rebecca Abrams, April 4, 2013

Psychoanalysis and Ghostly Transmissions
By Stephen Frosh

Have you ever seen a ghost? Or felt that an event in your past needed laying to rest? Or had a strong premonition something was going to happen before it actually did? Or caught sight of your reflection in a shop window and for a moment failed to recognise yourself?

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Brothers and others

By Moris Farhi, April 4, 2013

Exposure
By Sayed Kashua (Trans: Mitch Ginsburg)

Deliberations on our individuality, our place in the world — whether or not our attitudes towards social, political and religious responsibilities offer acceptable meanings to life — have been major themes in literature since Antiquity.

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Family in a viral spiral

By Sipora Levy, March 22, 2013

Helen Schulman’s fifth novel, This Beautiful Life, (Atlantic, £7.99), set in contemporary Manhattan, is a bold exploration of a family at breaking point, with themes of sex, love and morality.

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Violence takes Israel in the right direction

By Colin Shindler, March 22, 2013

The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right
By Ami Pedahzur
Oxford University Press, £18.99

In 1969, 32 per cent of the Israeli electorate voted for the centre right and its allies. Forty years later, this had increased to more than 52 per cent, securing the premiership for Netanyahu. Israeli academic Ami Pedahzur tells the story of this remarkable transition.

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