Literature

From tzitzit to Tattoos

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

Natalie Portman is the bookies' favourite to land the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the best-selling book by Stieg Larsson.

Paddy Power has made the 29-year-old Israeli-American their 11/4 favourite ahead of Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Twilight's Kristen Stewart.

The role of the tough, leather-clad, tattoo covered biker will be a far cry from her last film, New York, I love You, where she played a strictly Orthodox Jewish bride preparing for her wedding to a Chasidic man.

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Jeremy Dyson snatches a prize for his ghoulish stories

By Candice Krieger, August 12, 2010

Yorkshire's Jeremy Dyson, one quarter of the team behind the hit television show The League of Gentlemen, is basking in the limelight of a solo success - and it has nothing to do with TV.

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It's no mystery why Christie loved Devon

By Anthea Gerrie, July 28, 2010

You don't need to be a sleuth to figure out why Agatha Christie set so many of her crime novels in Devon. She was born in Torquay, fell in love there more than once and spent the happiest years of her life in a holiday home high above the River Dart with her second husband.

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Howard Jacobson up for Man Booker prize

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson has been placed on the longlist for one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards.

Mr Jacobson has been nominated for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his upcoming novel The Finkler Question.

The book, Mr Jacobson’s 15th, tells the story of three friends as they look back on their lives.

It is the third time the author, known for writing about Jewish characters, has been longlisted for the £50,000 prize, although he has never made the shortlist.

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Conference cancelled because of Israeli guest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

A French literary conference has been cancelled after pro-Palestinian activists refused to share a platform with an Israeli author who is a Holocaust survivor.

Novelist Esther Orner, 73, was set to appear at the March 2011 event hosted by the University of Provence.

But an anonymous group of Egyptian and Palestinian writers refused to take part in dialogue with an Israeli, prompting Ms Orner to speak out in the French media.

The controversy led university president Jean-Paul Caverni to cancel the entire conference.

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Secret Kafka files to be opened

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2010

A collection of valuable private manuscripts by Franz Kafka is to be opened for the first time as part of a legal battle over his estate.

The four boxes, believed to contain unpublished writing and sketches by the Prague-born Jewish author, will be unlocked in Zurich to help lawyers determine where ownership lies.

Literary experts will study the documents, hidden for 50 years in the vaults of a Swiss bank and said to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

It is just the latest stage in a two-year legal battle initiated by a woman called Eve Hoffe.

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Anne Frank: the comic book

By Jessica Elgot, July 9, 2010

A new graphic novel depicting a cartoon biography of Anne Frank is being released by the Anne Frank House Museum.

It will be a comic-book version of the diary written by 15-year-old Anne, who died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after she and her family were discovered hiding in their secret Amsterdam annex, and aims to appeal to other teenagers.

The work is a collaboration by American author Sid Jacobson and artist Ernest Colon, and translations are planned in German, French and Italian.

It will be released in the UK this autumn.

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Where Joshua Sobol and Etgar Keret come to write

By Julia Weiner, June 24, 2010

It is the place where visual artists, musicians, writers and theatre directors go when they really want to focus. Cove Park is an international centre in Scotland that offers artists who work in a variety of media residencies to undertake research and develop new projects. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it was the brainchild of Eileen and Peter Jacobs, a couple originally from Glasgow who have been based in London since 1983.

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Howard Jacobson and Rabbi Blue win religious broadcasting prizes

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2010

Novelist Howard Jacobson scooped a top religious broadcasting award on Tuesday for his personal exploration of Genesis, shown on Channel 4 earlier this year.

The programme - the first in a seven-part series about the Bible - won the premier prize for TV in the Sandford St Martin Trust awards at Lambeth Palace in London.

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'Zionist myth' book on prize shortlist

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

A controversial book which argues that the idea of a Jewish people descended from the ancient Israelites is a Zionist myth, has been shortlisted for British Jewry's main literary award.

The Invention of the Jewish People by Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand is one of four books up for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize.

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