Jewish books: Joshua Cohen’s Book of Numbers is a high tech epic

July 16, 2015

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What happens when a down on his luck luddite novelist is hired to ghostwrite a memoir by a math whiz tech mogul who shares his (and the author of this novel’s) name? …At close to 600 pages of dense prose Book of Numbers is not light reading. I close my NYJB review by recommending it […]

Milan Kundera’s new novella The Festival of Insignificance

July 12, 2015

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“… likewise 86 year old Czech-French novelist Milan Kundera’s new work of fiction, The Festival of Insignificance, which was published last week by New York based publisher Harper in Linda Asher’s fine English translation from the Kundera’s French, is a 128 pp. novella that revisits its author’s recurring themes but in a shorter format.” — […]

Books: Nell Zink’s smart and witty 2nd novel Mislaid

May 19, 2015

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“Looking for a brainy yet breezy novel that addresses gender, race, and class issues with levity and has a happy ending? Try Nell Zink’s Mislaid, her second published novel following her critically well-received debut The Wallcreeper in 2014.” — from my New York Journal of Books book review: Mislaid: A Novel by Nell Zink  “To […]

Books: Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere by Georges Perec

April 27, 2015

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What does fiction about art forgery have to do with Jewish identity? Books: on Jewish and artistic authenticity wrt Georges Perec's first novel In my New York Journal of Books review I praise Perec’s first novel as “a fully realized and mature work of fiction.” For a fuller discussion of Portrait of a Man Known […]

Jewish books: The Empire of the Senses probes Jewish identity in Weimar Germany

March 31, 2015

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“Alexis Landau’s cinematically descriptive, character-driven debut novel explores ethnic identity via an intermarried family in WWI and Weimar era Germany, i.e. before anti-Semitism became official state policy legally codifying ethnic definitions.” — from my New York Journal of Books review in which I praise the book as “handsomely written” as well as a “powerful and compelling novel.” […]

Israeli books: Five Selves explores five inner lives

March 12, 2015

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“…recommended to readers who enjoy interior prose and psychological literary fiction.” — from my review of Five Selves by Emanuela Barasch Rubinstein in New York Journal of Books. My additional remarks and excerpts from the book appear in examiner.com.

Israeli books: Gail Hareven’s Lies, First Person is a visceral novel of ideas

February 13, 2015

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  “There are books that make us feel intensely and others that make us think deeply; one that does both is Gail Hareven’s opalescent and psychologically complex eleventh novel Lies, First Person (in the original Hebrew Hashkarim Ha’aharonim Shel Hagoof which literally translates as The Body’s Last Lies), which is only the second (The Confessions […]

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