There is something mildly thrilling about sitting in the consulting room of a famous psychoanalyst and asking him a few searching questions about how he feels about the success of his recent book and his motivations for writing it.
The most surprising thing about Francesca Segal was that she was in her 30s before she published a novel. Aged three, her imaginary friend was the secretary who would take dictation for her. When she was six, Segal would hand stories she had written over to her father — Erich Segal, the author of Love Story — to take to his publishers.
Felix Posen is passionate about secular Jewish culture. If it is not a contradiction, he is positively evangelical about it. And he has also been prepared to invest more than just time into his interest.
If you believe Richard Young’s account of his own career, he is one of the luckiest photographers around. He tells of how he was working in a bookshop, dabbling in photography, when he obtained a world exclusive by accident.
If you were looking for someone qualified to lead an initiative to improve the standard of education for under-privileged children, Brett Wigdortz would not be that man. At least, 10 years ago he was not that man — he did not have any relevant skills or experience and he was only 28.
Without Woody Allen, Sophie Lellouche’s life would have been very different. She might never have discovered literature, music or philosophy, and she would definitely not be attending the London gala premiere of her movie Paris-Manhattan, which opens this year’s UK Jewish Film Festival — a debut rom-com which features a cameo appearance by Allen himself.
When Yasmin Levy was signed up by her manager Paul Burger more than a decade ago, he joked that she would be unlikely to sell more than 128 records. You could understand why. After all, here was an unknown vocalist who specialised in singing half-forgotten songs in the language of Ladino — the Judeo-Spanish of the Sephardi world which is spoken by fewer than 150,000 people.