Literature

Jewish love story 'The Innocents' up for Costa Book Award

By Jennifer Lipman, January 3, 2013

A novel about life and love in the Jewish community of North West London has been shortlisted for a prestigious book award.

Francesca Segal's The Innocents is in the running to scoop up the Costa Book Award, a £25,000 prize. On Wednesday it was named best first novel, giving it a place on the shortlist for the overall Costa prize.

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Unlovable, but not self-hating

By Oliver Kamm, November 26, 2012

Postwar America found not only prosperity but a new literary voice. Philip Roth, one of its principal exponents, has now laid down his pen. Having written 31 books, Roth has decided that he has said what he wants to say. He told the New York Times last week: "I sat around for a month or two trying to think of something else and I thought, 'Maybe it's over, maybe it's over'."

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Case for and against Holocaust schlock

By David Herman, November 25, 2012

In his fascinating book, What Ever Happened to Modernism?, the Jewish writer, Gabriel Josipovici, lays into middlebrow writing. What attracted attention when his book came out last year was his attack on some of Britain's best-known contemporary novelists, including Martin Amis, Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan.

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Kafka documents to go to Israel National Library

By Anna Sheinman, October 15, 2012

A protracted legal dispute over a collection of writings belonging to Franz Kafka came to an end in a Tel Aviv court over the weekend, when a judge ordered the documents be gifted to the Israel National Library Museum.

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Reading can make you blind

By Sandy Rashty, October 4, 2012

Crown Heights is one of the epicentres of American Orthodoxy. So you might imagine the most popular choice in the local library would be some rabbinic hagiography or edifying novel from Artscroll.

But it appears the most borrowed tome over the summer was Shmuley Boteach’s guide to nuptial bliss, Kosher Sex.

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Gunter Grass praises whistleblower Vanunu in new poem on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 30, 2012

German poet Gunter Grass has written another poem attacking the Jewish state and praising nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.

The verse is included in a new compilation of his work published this weekend in Germany, and is called “Hero of our days”.

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Miriam Gross Returns to Jerusalem

By Miriam Gross, September 20, 2012

I was born in Jerusalem a year before the outbreak of World War II. My parents had met there (my mother was married to someone else at the time), both having left Germany in 1933 soon after Hitler came to power.

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How listening to jazz funk helped Michael Chabon create utopia

By Simon Round, September 20, 2012

Michael Chabon was brought up in a place called Columbia, Maryland. It was what was known in America as a planned community — a 1970s concept of a racially integrated, egalitarian, ecumenical community.

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The medieval Jewish poet who preceded Chaucer

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2012

Rare poems documenting the persecution of Norwich's medieval Jewish community, in the period preceding the expulsion from England in 1290, are being given a new lease of life thanks to the work of a dedicated group of residents.

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Deborah Levy up against Hilary Mantel for Man Booker

By Jennifer Lipman, September 11, 2012

British Jewish writer Deborah Levy could scoop up the Man Booker prize this year after her name appeared on the shortlist for the prestigious prize.

She is joined on the six-strong list of finalists by satirical novelist Will Self

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