Anti-apartheid Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer dies aged 90

By Charlotte Oliver, July 14, 2014

South African author and Nobel Prize winning activist Nadine Gordimer died on Sunday at the age of 90, her family have announced.

A statement said the author, who was considered to be a leading world voice against apartheid, died peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg, with her two children present.


Loveless lives in heartless cities

By David Herman, May 2, 2014

David Vogel was born in the Russian Pale, a member of that extraordinary generation of Russian-Jewish writers, born in the 1890s, which included Isaac Babel and Boris Pasternak. In 1912, he moved to Vienna, where he taught Hebrew to make ends meet.


Otto Dov Kulka wins Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize

By Charlotte Oliver, February 28, 2014

Otto Dov Kulka took home British Jewry’s top literary award, the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, on Wednesday night for his memoir Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death.


Steven Berkoff tells us what he does between scenes when he’s in LA. Clue: it involves a sandwich that tastes of home

By Steven Berkoff, February 27, 2014

Sometimes, one comes across a cafe, restaurant, diner, greasy spoon, deli or bistro, that feels so much like home you feel safe and secure as soon as you enter the door.

“At last, sanctuary,” your body cries from every nerve. Is some ancient sliver of genetic memory being awakened? I feel a glow within and know I will be received like a hallowed guest.


Israel critic Nathan Filer wins Costa Book of the Year

By Charlotte Oliver, January 29, 2014

A debut novelist who is a staunch critic of the Israeli government has won the Costa Book of the Year.

Nathan Filer won the £30,000 prize last night, beating bookies’ favourites Kate Atkinson and Lucy Hughes-Hallett, for his first novel, The Shock of the Fall – a story about mental illness.


Will Self, Neil Gaiman and the return of Uncle

By Jenni Frazer, January 13, 2014

If I wanted to be cute, I could call this piece The Elephant and the Jewish Problem, except that while there is indeed an elephant, there is as yet no discernible Jewish problem. And, I have to confess, neither is the Jewish presence exactly Jumbo sized.


Profile: Nathan Filer, Costa first-novel award winner

By Daniel Easterman, January 10, 2014

Nathan Filer is fast emerging as one of the rising stars of British literature. His first novel, The Shock of the Fall, has just won the Costa Prize for best debut novel and he is now in the running to win the competition’s grand £30,000 prize.


Anti-Israel novelist wins prestigious Costa prize

By Charlotte Oliver, January 9, 2014

Nathan Filer’s debut novel, The Shock of the Fall, will be published this year in 12 countries, including Israel. It was a decision, he said, that “was not easy” to accept.

Mr Filer, who won the Costa First Novel Award this week, is a virulent critic of the Israeli government and and was last year arrested and deported from the country after attempting to travel to the West Bank.


Thousands set to browse the ‘global bookshelf’ at Jewish Book Week

By Charlotte Oliver, January 9, 2014

Ian McEwan, Julie Burchill and Simon Schama are among the 150 internationally-renowned writers and artists taking part in next month’s Jewish Book Week.

The annual festival, which celebrates Jewish writing, film and art, attracted a total of over 10,000 people in 2013 — and organisers are hoping to beat that figure with this year’s programme, details of which were revealed this week.


Detecting a nasty side to Maigret

By Norman Lebrecht, December 1, 2013

Early this summer, at a colleague’s suggestion, I returned to an author I last read in my teens. Georges Simenon churned out some 200 crime novels in 40 years, of which 75 featured his imposing creation, Inspector Jules Maigret.