Book Review: Petty Business by Yirmi Pinkus

February 7, 2018

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“Petty Business, the second of Yirmi Pinkus’ five novels and the first to be published in English, satirically portrays the life of a family of Tel Aviv store owners with both fondness and humor over one year—1989, a time in which neighborhood mom and pop stores were being put out of business by larger chain […]

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Book review: The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar

February 4, 2018

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“One of the lessons this complicated book conveys is how difficult it is to achieve the golden mean, balancing a serious writer’s need for solitude to reduce distractions with the need to stay connected and involved with one’s family and loved ones on the one hand, and integrating knowledge and appreciation for global culture with […]

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Book review: North Station by Bae Suah

December 22, 2017

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“One way to view these stories is as philosophical essays in fictional form that address some of the same philosophical, psychological, spiritual, aesthetic, cultural, and societal topics and concerns that are found in Bae’s longer fiction. But by devoting each story to only two or three of those topics and freed from a longer work’s […]

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Book review: Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali

November 9, 2017

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“Seventy-four years ago, nine years before the publication of The Second Sex and 20 years before The Feminine Mystique, a male Turkish communist novelist created a fictional feminist character who is the heroine of a love story that suggests an egalitarian heterosexual courtship can be based on honesty, candor, and mutual respect. “Three quarters of […]

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Book Review: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss

November 7, 2017

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“In writing her way out of a personal trial Krauss has expanded her range.” — from my review of Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss in New York Journal of Books    

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Book Review: Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

October 26, 2017

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“In the book’s acknowledgements Englander thanks his editor for extracting the text of the novel from a much longer manuscript. The salvage operation feels uneven as a work of literature, but its ideas are worth engaging.” — from my review in New York Journal of Books

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Book Review: An Egyptian Novel by Orly Castel-Bloom

October 26, 2017

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  “A recurring theme is how and to what extent characters recover from setbacks, displacement, and disappointments. Tel-Aviv, particularly north Tel-Aviv (an established affluent neighborhood in the later chapters/stories but new construction in the early ones) where the Kastil brothers and their families live, gives the book a sense of place.” — from my review […]

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