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Author Talk: Rose Tremain
By Joanne Sydney Lessner for Hadassah Magazine
The Gustav Sonata, winner of Hadassah Magazine’s Harold U. Ribalow Award as well as a National Jewish Book Award, is the first of Rose Tremain’s 14 novels to address a Jewish theme. Tremain, 74, who lives in Norfolk, England, often writes about social groups slightly out of the prevailing mainstream. Her Orange Prize-winner The Road Home concerns an Eastern European immigrant trying to make a life in England. The Gustav Sonata, set in Switzerland before, during and after World War II, traces the lifelong friendship between exuberant, ambitious (and Jewish) Anton and reserved, empathetic Gustav (who is not). While exploring the evolution of their relationship and the family circumstances that shape them, Tremain turns her delicately penetrating prose to themes of unspoken love, loyalty, music and the sacrifices made in pursuit of neutrality.
What was your inspiration for The Gustav Sonata?
Jewish Comedy Bits, Songs, Shows, and Films Everyone Should Know
Erica S. Perl for Jewish Book Council
As good Jewish parents, my mom and dad introduced me and my brother to the finer things in life. Namely: potato knishes, bialys, kasha varnishkes...and comedy.
Today, thanks to the miracles of YouTube and other online video archives, it’s even easier to find a smorgasbord of Jewish comedy, which helped me a LOT while I was working on my new novel All Three Stooges. It's a middle grade novel (for ages ten and up) about Noah and Dash, two Jewish boys who are best friends and comedy junkies, and the family tragedy that threatens to end their laughter as well as their friendship. I watched as many comedy clips as I could, and put many of them in the book. This experience led me to create this slightly subjective and far-from-complete list.
For more great reads, check out Jvillage Network's Books for Adults Pinterest page.
‘All the Rivers,’ An Israeli-Palestinian Love Story
by Amy Klein for Hadassah Magazine
Sitting in the comfort of my liberal enclave in New York City and reading Dorit Rabinyan’s book about an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man who meet in Greenwich Village and fall in love, I try to comprehend that this best seller was censored in Israel.
A few months after All the Rivers was published there in May 2014, the country’s Ministry of Education removed it from its high school reading list. Education Minister Naftali Bennett explained that the book presents Israel’s soldiers as “criminal sadists,” compares them to terrorists and describes a romance between a “Palestinian security prisoner” and an Israeli woman.
For more great reads, check out Jvillage Network's Pinterest page.
Kids’ Books that Matter: Enter the Land and Plant /Tu Bishvat, the Birthday of the Trees
By Kathy Bloomfield. This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily
When I was a girl, I spent many weekends at my grandmother’s house. She had a HUGE walnut tree in the center of her backyard. The neighborhood kids and my siblings and I, like most children, used sheets, blankets, benches and the like to create tents, tunnels and fortresses under the branches of that tree. From there we would enter the fantastic worlds of our imagination, gathering food for our children (i.e. walnuts for the dolls), walking through the desert (i.e. my grandmother’s cactus garden) or searching for magic globes (i.e. fruit from her avocado tree). The walnut tree was the starting point of every journey and the center of most of our larger family gatherings.
Find some great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page.
Best Books of the Year, as Selected by Mosaic Authors
Spy games, catch-67s, lionesses, smugglers, patriots, setting suns, and more.
To mark the close of 2017, we asked a handful of our writers to name the best two or three books they read this year, and briefly to explain their choices. Their answers are below. (All books were published in 2017 unless otherwise noted.)
Misagh Parsa, Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed (Harvard, 416pp., $45). This history of the Islamic Republic is a reminder that the ayatollahs have been at war with the people of Iran since 1979. It is therefore also a reminder of whose side America must be on in that conflict.
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