Literature

On this day: Norman Mailer is born

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

In the canon of influential Jewish writers of the last century, Normal Mailer is up there with the likes of Phillip Roth.

The author of The Armies of the Night, The Executioner's Song and The Castle in the Forest, a man who managed to infuriate feminists in almost everything he did, feuded with Gore Vidal and once ran for the job of mayor of New York, Mailer will certainly go down as one of the greats of literary history.

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Ian McEwan responds to pro-Palestinian campaigners

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

Ian McEwan has told a group of pro-Palestinian writers who criticised him for accepting an Israeli prize celebrating those who promote the "freedom of the individual in society" to respect his decision.

The novelist, who was awarded the 2011 Jerusalem Prize last week, said he disagreed with those who had called on him to boycott the prize.

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Dustin Hoffman in Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011
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Ten years after the author died, Barney's Version has finally made it to the big screen.

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Ian McEwan wins 2011 Jerusalem Prize

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

British writer Ian McEwan has been described as “one of the most important writers of our time” by the judging panel of this year’s Jerusalem Prize.

The author of the bestselling novels Atonement and On Chesil Beach was named as the recipient of the prize, Israel’s most significant literary honour for foreign writers.

Mr McEwan was chosen for the £6,200 prize because of “his love of people and concern for their right to self-realisation, and in recognition of his artistic achievements.”

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Anthony Horowitz to write new Sherlock Holmes story

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

A Jewish author is to write the first new Sherlock Holmes story in almost a century.

Anthony Horowitz has been chosen by author Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate to write what will be the fifth full-length book about the brilliant and idiosyncratic detective.

Mr Horowitz, originally from Stanmore, is best known for the bestselling children’s action-adventure series Alex Rider. But his book about life at 221b Baker Street will be aimed at adults.

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Literary critic John Gross dies at 75

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

The distinguished Jewish literary critic John Gross has died at the age of 75.

Mr Gross, a prolific author and commentator who was described by The Spectator as “the best-read man in Britain”, spent seven years as editor of The Times Literary Supplement.

He was also a books editor for the New York Times and the Sunday Telegraph’s theatre critic. In 1971 he chaired the judging panel of the Booker prize.

His father was a Polish-born ex-rabbinical student who later moved to Mile End and trained as a doctor.

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On this day: the first Nobel Prizes are awarded

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

As the famous story goes, Alfred Nobel – the inventor of dynamite – was disturbed to read his own obituary. It was less the news of his premature death than the headline: “the merchant of death is dead”.

He was desperate to change this and be remembered for something else and, accordingly, the Nobel Prize was born.

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Payout for fake Holocaust memoir

By Jessica Elgot, November 30, 2010

The publishers of a fraudulent Holocaust memoir must pay its ghost writer $10m because she did not realise Misha Defonseca’s story was a fake.

US author Ms Defonseca published “Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years” in 1997, telling a story of her survival from the Holocaust, roaming through Europe on foot, receiving food from a pack of wolves. It was a bestseller and the film rights were sold to Disney. Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel wrote the foreword for the book.

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Report: public money goes to 'anti-Israel' journal

By Simon Rocker, November 18, 2010

More than £767,000 of public money from the Arts Council has gone to the London Review of Books – a publication “virulently hostile” to Israel and Zionism, according to a new report by the media monitoring body, Just Journalism.

The literary journal received its grants from the council – which is funded by the Government and the National Lottery - over a 30-year period, JJ says.

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Guest recipe: Fromage sur Pain Grillé

By Howard Jacobson, November 4, 2010

INGREDIENTS

● Bread
● Cheese

METHOD

● This well-known dish comes without a precise recipe but will fail more often than it succeeds unless the following recommendations are heeded.

● First, get the bread right. It cannot be a sliced loaf. It cannot be wholewheat, wholemeal, wholegerm, or any of the heavy, overseeded loaves of the sort you find in health food stores. You don’t want seeds or herbs distracting your attention from the cheese.

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