Literature

On this day: Harold Pinter wins a Nobel Prize

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

The Nobel Prize committee praised him as a writer “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.”

Born in 1930 in Hackney, Harold Pinter attended Hackney Downs school and then pursued a career on stage, screen and as a writer. He became known for plays including The Birthday Party and The Caretaker, as well as The Homecoming, for which he won a Tony award.

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Howard Jacobson wins Man Booker prize for 'The Finkler Question'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

Howard Jacobson has won the Man Booker prize for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was chosen by judges above the five other books nominated, including the favourite, C by Tom McCarthy.

Mr Jacobson has been nominated twice before for the prestigious literary award, which comes with a £50,000 prize as well as the likelihood of increased book sales. This year was the first he made the shortlist.

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Israeli author wins German peace prize

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

An Israeli novelist has been awarded a German peace prize for giving a literary voice to coexistence.

David Grossman, whose books include The Smile of the Lamb and Someone to Run With, was announced as the recipient of the peace prize of the German book trade on Sunday.

Mr Grossman, 56, is a prominent figure of Israel’s left , and a campaigner for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. He is close friends with fellow Israeli writer Amos Oz.

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A bunny ate my Man Booker nominee

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010
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North London literature fan Carol Muskoron found a novel way of identifying this year's Man Booker winner.

She launched a new competition called "The Bunny Booker" and set her pet rabbits, Audrey and Harrison, the task of eating their way through the shortlist.

But the winner of the Man Booker was Jewish author Howard Jacobson, while the bunnies awarded it to Andrea Levy's The Long Song.

Watch them chow down on Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question.

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Rachel Weisz to star in Peter Morgan drama

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

Rachel Weisz is to star in a new “psychosexual drama” written by Jewish director Peter Morgan.

The London-born actress, who recently appeared in The Lovely Bones, will play the lead in the upcoming film 360.

The film will be a loose adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen and will reunite her with Fernando Meirelles, who directed her in the thriller The Constant Gardener.

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Hero or faker? Debate over Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal

By Simon Rocker, September 17, 2010

Fresh controversy has erupted over the reputation of the legendary Nazi-hunter, Simon

A new biography of him by Israeli historian Tom Segev was this week dismissed as a "whitewash" by Guy Walters, the British author who challenged Wiesenthal's credibility in his own book Hunting Evil last year.

Mr Walters recently branded Wiesenthal "one of the biggest conmen of the 20th century" for lying about his wartime experiences and exaggerating his role in tracking down war criminals.

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A very Jewish book's appeal

By Jonathan Freedland, September 16, 2010

At least one Jew among us has begun the new year sweetly. Twenty-four hours before Rosh Hashanah, Howard Jacobson was named on the shortlist of the Man Booker Prize. "About bloody time" was my reaction. Incredibly, Jacobson - long placed by the critics in the first rank of British writers - had never made the shortlist before. (Almost as surprisingly, Jacobson thereby became the first Jewish man to have achieved the feat: Jewish women, including past winners Anita Brookner and Bernice Rubens, have tended to do better.)

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Howard Jacobson on Man Booker shortlist

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

Howard Jacobson has made the shortlist for Man Booker Prize for Fiction for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was announced as one of six from the original longlist of 13 vying for the 2010 prize.

The book, Mr Jacobson’s 15th, follows three friends as they reminisce about their life experiences.

It has received rave reviews, with The Independent praising it for balancing "bleak moralising with life-affirming humour".

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Rabbi's rhymes - with a twist

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

It might not seem unusual for a rabbi to translate the Torah - but it is if he does it in verse.

Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen has just published a new poetic version of Genesis in English, rendered into rhyming couplets.

It is a new departure for the rabbi who has previously written many books on Jewish festivals and prayer as well as articles on the Bible in scholarly journals.

Since he has written on Jewish liturgy, and a major part of the liturgy is poetic, he has long been captivated by poetry as a form of religious expression, he explained.

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Interview: Gabriel Josipovici

By David Herman, September 2, 2010

There could hardly be a more English setting for our meeting: lunch in a country pub in Sussex, near the home where Gabriel Josipovici has lived for almost half-a-century. It is a long way from Vichy France, where Josipovici was born in 1940, "on the last day on which my parents could have escaped from war-torn Europe".

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