Literature

Hill start for essayists

By Gerald Jacobs, July 7, 2013

Many are the clanger-dropping rejections that have been handed out over the centuries to writers, from Jane Austen to JK Rowling. And not just writers. When the Beatles failed an audition at Decca, they received the legendary consolation: “Sorry guys, but groups with guitars are on the way out.”

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Tigers, tea and Ruby Wax at Hampstead literary festival

By Jennifer Lipman, July 1, 2013

A tiger is unlikely to be on the guest list, but adults and children are invited to afternoon tea with author Judith Kerr at an annual London literary festival in September.

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Grossman, Oz and Yehoshua fight eviction of Palestinian village

By Zoe Winograd, June 26, 2013

David Grossman, Amos Oz and AB Yehoshua are leading a campaign to stop the eviction of Palestinian villagers in the West Bank.

The three Israeli authors, together with 21 other writers, have signed a petition against the Israeli government’s decision to build a military base at the site where 1,000 Palestinian villagers currently live.

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Finding the Suite smell of success

By Gerald Jacobs, June 13, 2013

As you read this, Harvey Weinstein is producing a film of the late French writer Irene Nemirovsky’s spectacularly celebrated novel, Suite Francaise, starring Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts. Meanwhile, acclaimed translator Sandra Smith is working on her 11th Nemirovsky title, Fires of Autumn — “a First-World-War Suite Francaise”.

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How Chasidic life inspired the latest Miller’s tale

By Gerald Jacobs, June 13, 2013

A few years ago, novelist, film director and screenwriter Rebecca Miller and her children were rowing across the lake in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, when she spotted a crowd of Chasidic families enjoying a day out in the sunshine.

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Heroine who turned a zoo into a refuge from the Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2013

The extraordinary story of a Holocaust heroine who saved Jews from the Nazis by hiding them in animal cages at Warsaw Zoo, has been published in Britain for the first time.

Diane Ackerman's bestselling book describes how Antonina Zabinski and her husband Jan - a keeper at the zoo - risked their lives to protect more than 300 people.

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AM Homes beats Hilary Mantel to Women's Prize for Fiction

By Jennifer Lipman, June 5, 2013

American Jewish novelist AM Homes has won this year's Women's Prize for Fiction, beating favourite Hilary Mantel.

She was awarded the £30,000 prize for her novel May We Be Forgiven, about the relationship between two brothers. Its main character Harry is Jewish and the novel deals at times with questions of religion.

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Email lit sends wrong message

By Gerald Jacobs, May 30, 2013

What was the earliest English novel?

Though preceded by such eminent works of fiction as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (1740) is often cited as the first “proper” novel written in English.

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Fact (and fiction also): Budapest-based author completes a notable double

By Gerald Jacobs, May 30, 2013

Hungary is not the best place to be Jewish at the moment, with rising antisemitism and the extreme nationalist Jobbik party a major force in the country’s parliament. Earlier this month, on the eve of the World Jewish Congress’s defiant plenary assembly in Budapest, Jobbik was allowed to stage a quasi-military antisemitic rally.

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Francesca Segal wins $100,000 prize for The Innocents

By Zoe Winograd, May 29, 2013

British author Francesca Segal has won the prestigious Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature in fiction for her debut novel The Innocents.

The prize, which is awarded by the New York Jewish Book Council , is worth $100,000 (£66,000).

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