German writer Gunter Grass launches poetry attack on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, April 4, 2012

Nobel Prize-winning writer Gunter Grass has criticised Israel for "endangering the already fragile world peace".

Mr Grass, 84, is known for his left-wing political views. In a poem published in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, he expressed concern that Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people" if it took action against Tehran's nuclear ambitions.


Amos Oz in running for literary award

By Jennifer Lipman, March 2, 2012

A book by a prolific Israeli writer has been shortlisted for an award honouring translations of books.

Amos Oz, one of the most influential writers and intellectuals in Israeli history, is the author of dozens of books, short stories and essays.


Stefan Zweig's suicide note posted online

By Jennifer Lipman, February 23, 2012

The suicide note of an influential Jewish writer has been published online in Israel 70 years after his death.

Stefan Zweig, author of dozens of books, plays and short stories including The Post Office Girl and Beware of Pity, was a well-known literary figure in his day.


Author publishes new book on Facebook first

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2012

An Israeli writer has decided to bypass traditional methods of publishing and print his work on Facebook.

Russian-born Alex Epstein, who moved to Israel as a child, is an award winning author and has enjoyed literary success with two collections of short stories.


Montefiore bigoraphy wins prestigious prize

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2012

An Oxford University academic has won £16,000 for her biography of Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore.

Abigail Green's book on the "Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero" was named as the runner-up in the annual Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.


Christopher Hitchens dies at age 62

By Jennifer Lipman, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer.

The writer and commentator, who was a sworn atheist, was told that he was of Jewish descent when he was 38. His maternal grandmother had been Jewish and came from Kempen, now Kempno, in Upper Silesia, a discovery that Mr Hitchens described as thrilling.


Author Naomi Ragen guilty of plagiarism

By Jennifer Lipman, December 12, 2011

One of Israel's most high-profile authors has been found guilty of plagiarising another writer's work.

Naomi Ragen, who is known for her support for women's rights, will now have to compensate Sarah Shapiro.

Ms Ragen, the author of books including The Sacrifice of Tamar and The Tenth Song, was sued over the content of her novel Sotah.


Catch 22 author Heller 'enjoyed' army service

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2011

The author of one of the most famous books ever written criticising war was actually excited to serve in the army.

Joseph Heller, whose novel Catch 22 is seen to this day as a vital part of the anti-war literature canon, did not share the attitude of the book's protagonist, Captain Yossarian.


I’m telling the story of the modern Jew, in all its forms

October 27, 2011

In Tel Aviv a tent city runs the length of Rothschild Boulevard. In Jerusalem they are preparing for a Million Person March. But in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion all is calm, especially in the house of Aharon and Yudit Appelfeld. I am here to talk about Appelfeld's new novel, and to consider his illustrious career as he approaches his 80th birthday.


Making a meal of Chinese prize

By Anna Sheinman, October 6, 2011

The Chinese language skills of a 22-year-old international business development worker won him an invitation to a Chinese embassy banquet.

Blair Sugarman of Totteridge was among winners of a Chinese speaking competition, for which he recited a Taiwanese poem and spoke about his year in northern China.