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Pale Of Settlement Stories

Author: Margot Singer
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 082033586X
Size: 32.41 MB
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In settings from Jerusalem to Manhattan, from the archaeological ruins of the Galilee to Kathmandu, The Pale of Settlement gives us characters who struggle to piece together the history and myths of their family's past. This collection of linked short stories takes its title from the name of the western border region of the Russian empire within which Jews were required to live during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Susan, the stories' main character, is a woman trapped in her own border region between youth and adulthood, familial roots in the Middle East and a typical American existence, the pull of Jewish tradition and the independence of a secular life. In "Helicopter Days," Susan discovers that the Israeli cousin she grew up with has joined a mysterious cult. "Lila's Story" braids Susan's memories of her grandmother--a German Jew arriving in Palestine to escape the Holocaust--with the story of her own affair with a married man and an invented narrative of her grandmother's life. In "Borderland," while trekking in Nepal, Susan meets an Israeli soldier who carries with him the terrible burden of his experience as a border guard in the Gaza Strip. And in the haunting title story, bedtime tales are set against acts of terrorism and memories of a love beyond reach. The stories of The Pale of Settlement explore the borderland between Israelis and American Jews, emigrants and expatriates, and vanished homelands and the dangerous world in which we live today.

The New Diaspora

Author: Victoria Aarons
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 0814340563
Size: 52.84 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Edward Lewis Wallant Award was founded by the family of Dr. Irving and Fran Waltman in 1963 and is supported by the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies. It is given annually to an American writer, preferably early in his or her career, whose fiction is considered significant for American Jews. In The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction, editors Victoria Aarons, Avinoam J. Patt, and Mark Shechner, who have all served as judges for the award, present vital, original, and wide-ranging fiction by writers whose work has been considered or selected for the award. The resulting collection highlights the exemplary place of the Wallant Award in Jewish literature. With a mix of stories and novel chapters, The New Diaspora reprints selections of short fiction from such well-known writers as Rebecca Goldstein, Nathan Englander, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dara Horn, Julie Orringer, and Nicole Krauss. The first half of the anthology presents pieces by winners of the Wallant award, focusing on the best work of recent winners. The New Diaspora’s second half reflects the evolving landscape of American Jewish fiction over the last fifty years, as many authors working in America are not American by birth, and their fiction has become more experimental in nature. Pieces in this section represent authors with roots all over the world—including Russia (Maxim Shrayer, Nadia Kalman, and Lara Vapnyar), Latvia (David Bezmozgis), South Africa (Tony Eprile), Canada (Robert Majzels), and Israel (Avner Mandelman, who now lives in Canada). This collection offers an expanded canon of Jewish writing in North America and foregrounds a vision of its variety, its uniqueness, its cosmopolitanism, and its evolving perspectives on Jewish life. It celebrates the continuing vitality and fresh visions of contemporary Jewish writing, even as it highlights its debt to history and embrace of collective memory. Readers of contemporary American fiction and Jewish cultural history will find The New Diaspora enlightening and deeply engaging.

Bending Genre

Author: Margot Singer
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1441195262
Size: 73.72 MB
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Ever since the term "creative nonfiction" first came into widespread use, memoirists and journalists, essayists and fiction writers have faced off over where the border between fact and fiction lies. This debate over ethics, however, has sidelined important questions of literary form. Bending Genre does not ask where the boundaries between genres should be drawn, but what happens when you push the line. Written for writers and students of creative writing, this collection brings together perspectives from today's leading writers of creative nonfiction, including Michael Martone, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, and David Shields. Each writer's innovative essay probes our notions of genre and investigates how creative nonfiction is shaped, modeling the forms of writing being discussed. Like creative nonfiction itself, Bending Genre is an exciting hybrid that breaks new ground.

Inventing Jewish Ritual

Author: Vanessa L. Ochs
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
ISBN: 9780827608344
Size: 47.93 MB
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Vanessa Ochs invites her readers to explore how Jewish practice can be more meaningful through renewing, reshaping, and even creating new rituals, such as naming ceremonies for welcoming baby girls, healing services, Miriam’s cup, mitzvah days, egalitarian wedding practices, and commitment ceremonies. We think of rituals—the patterned ways of doing things that have shared and often multiple meanings— as being steeped in tradition and therefore unalterable. But rituals have always been reinvented. When we perform ancient rituals in a particular place and time they are no longer quite the same rituals they once were. Each is a debut, an innovation: this Sabbath meal, this Passover seder, this wedding—firsts in their own unique ways. In the last 30 years there has been a surge of interest in reinventing ritual, in what is called minhag America. Ochs describes the range and diversity of interest in this Jewish American experience and examines how it reflects tradition as it revives Jewish culture and faith. And she shows us how to create our own ritual objects, sacred spaces, ceremonies, and liturgies that can be paths to greater personal connection with history and with holiness: baby-naming ceremonies for girls, divorce rituals, Shabbat practices, homemade haggadahs, ritual baths, healing services. Through these and more, we see that American Judaism is a dynamic cultural process very much open to change and a source of great personal and communal meaning. The ceramic “Tree of Life” spice container that appears on the cover of Inventing Jewish Ritual is by Susan Garson of Garson and Pakele Studios, www.garsonpakele.com

Underground Fugue

Author: Margot Singer
Publisher: Melville House
ISBN: 1612196292
Size: 77.31 MB
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A New York Times Editors' Choice “A pleasure to read from beginning to end.” —Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March Esther, an American art conservator, has fled New York for London—partly to escape her failing marriage, partly to tend to her dying mother. On her first night there, she spots a young man returning home very late, wet and muddy, to the house next door. Their eyes connect and he disappears inside. This first encounter sparks Esther’s curiosity about her new neighbors: Amir, the moody college student she caught sneaking in, and, more intruiguing still, Amir’s father, Javad—a neuroscientist from Iran. Throughout the spring, a tentative friendship blossoms, but when terrorists attack London’s tube and bus lines in July, Esther finds her relationship with Javad strained by her gnawing suspicions about Amir . . . suspicions that will ultimately upend the possibilities for the future, and reveal the deep stamp of the past. Sweeping, suspenseful, and exquisitely written, Underground Fugue is a powerful testament to how human connection can survive history’s most fearsome echoes.

You Ve Got To Read This

Author: Ron Hansen
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN:
Size: 55.75 MB
Format: PDF
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Thirty-five authors choose their favorite stories and they explain why. From Chekhov's Gooseberries to Mary Caponegro's The Star Cafe.