Books

Review: Unlearning

By David Conway, October 7, 2014

By Marie Luise Knott
Granta, £16.99

Forty years after her death in America, where she had fled from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1941, the German-born philosopher Hannah Arendt is someone about whom opinion remains deeply divided, especially among her fellow Jews.

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Interview: Sarah Lightman

By Ariel Kahn, October 7, 2014

Sarah Lightman is a one-woman comics industry. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow and her research into Autobiographical Comics and Trauma has been published in numerous books and journals. Her visual diary, The Book of Sarah, will be published by Myriad Editions in 2016.

She is director of Laydeez do Comics, the foremost comics forum in the UK.

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Review: Marrying Out

By Amanda Craig, October 2, 2014

By Harold Carlton
Slightly Foxed, £17.50

'Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," said Tolstoy, famously. Unhappy Jewish families are another matter.

Marrying Out (first published in 2001 as The Handsomest Sons in the World!) is not only one of the funniest books ever written about unhappy family life, but one that is totally recognisable.

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Review: An Armenian Sketchbook

By Oliver Kamm, October 2, 2014

By Vasily Grossman
MacLeHose Press, £8.99

Vasily Grossman, the Soviet Jewish writer, has steadily acquired a deserved reputation among English-speaking readers. He was born in 1905 and showed great promise as a writer of fiction. During the Second World War, he turned his talent for prose to journalism, and filed despatches of historic significance for the Soviet newspaper Red Star.

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Interview: Amy Bloom

By Charlotte Oliver, September 23, 2014

Who does the letter belong to? Does it carry the same meaning for both the writer and the recipient? And what if it never reaches its final destination?

For American author, Amy Bloom, the unsent letter is just as revealing as the one that arrives on your doorstep. "You think of the letter as existing between the writer and the reader, but of course it exists as soon as it is written.

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Review: A Replacement Life

By David Herman, September 23, 2014

By Boris Fishman
One, £12.99

One of the most exciting developments in American literature in recent years has been the emergence of a new generation of Jewish writers from the former Soviet Union.

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Review: The Children Act

By David Herman, September 18, 2014

By Ian McEwan
Jonathan Cape, £16.99

Much of Ian McEwan's best writing has been about children. From his astonishing early stories in the 1970s to The Child in Time and, above all, Atonement, he has seen childhood through a glass darkly. Whether it is what adults do to children or what children do to adults, it rarely ends well.

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Review: Cursed Victory

By Colin Shindler, September 18, 2014

By Ahron Bregman
Allen Lane, £25

Ahron Bregman's new book is an intelligent, critical account of contemporary Israeli history after the 1967 Six-Day War. The conquered territories, occupied and then colonised, became an ideological albatross that has hung around Israel's neck ever since.

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Review: Rebbe

By David Lehmann, September 11, 2014

By Joseph Telushkin
Harper Wave, £20

Under the leadership of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Chabad (Lubavitch) grew from a small circle of Chasidim (no numbers are given in this book) into an omnipresent and unified force in world Judaism.

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Small is beautiful in Berks and Cornwall

By Malcolm Weisman, September 11, 2014

Royal Jews

By Jonathan Romain
Grenfell Publishing, £15.99

The Jews of Cornwall

By Keith Pearce
Halsgrove, £29.99

Two new books on aspects of Anglo-Jewish history cover a period from pre-Norman conquest to the present day. Both make a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Anglo-Jewry outside its traditional main centres of activity.

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