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"Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature." --Michael Chabon
"[Charyn's] sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable." --Jonathan Lethem
"One of our most rewarding novelists." --Larry McMurtry
On a windy night in 1937, a seventeen-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves. The man is none other than spymaster Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Canaris adopts the young man and dubs him "Cesare" after the character in the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for his ability to break through any barrier as he eliminates the Abwehr's enemies.
Canaris is a man of contradictions who, while serving the regime, seeks to undermine the Nazis and helps Cesare hide Berlin's Jews from the Gestapo. But the Nazis will lure many to Theresienstadt, a phony paradise in Czechoslovakia with sham restaurants, novelty shops, and bakeries, a cruel ghetto and way station to Auschwitz. When the woman Cesare loves, a member of the Jewish underground, is captured and sent there, Cesare must find a way to rescue her.
Cesare is a literary thriller and a love story born of the horrors of a country whose culture has died, whose history has been warped, and whose soul has disappeared.
Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. Among other honors, he has received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and his novels have been selected as finalists for the Firecracker Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Charyn lives in New York.
Ben-Naftali's The Teacher takes us through a keenly crafted, fictional biography for Elsa--from childhood through adolescence, from the Holocaust to her personal aftermath--and brings us face to face with one woman's struggle in light of one of history's great atrocities.
The thirst for exotic ornament among fashionable women in the metropoles of Europe and America prompted a bustling global trade in ostrich feathers that flourished from the 1880s until the First World War. When feathers fell out of fashion with consumers, the result was an economic catastrophe for many, a worldwide feather bust. In this remarkable book, Sarah Stein draws on rich archival materials to bring to light the prominent and varied roles of Jews in the feather trade. She discovers that Jews fostered and nurtured the trade across the global commodity chain and throughout the far-flung territories where ostriches were reared and plucked, and their feathers were sorted, exported, imported, auctioned, wholesaled, and finally manufactured for sale.
From Yiddish-speaking Russian-Lithuanian feather handlers in South Africa to London manufacturers and wholesalers, from rival Sephardic families whose feathers were imported from the Sahara and traded across the Mediterranean, from New York s Lower East Side to entrepreneurial farms in the American West, Stein explores the details of a remarkably vibrant yet ephemeral culture. This is a singular story of global commerce, colonial economic practices, and the rise and fall of a glamorous luxury item."
The contributors examine a wide range of topics, including the early history of the American Jewish community and the various significant phases of Jewish immigration, which saw the initial group of twenty-three burgeon into a thriving community of several million by the early twentieth century. Also addressed is the role and presence of Jews in the Civil War and in World War II, anti-Semitism in America, the daily life and struggles of American Jewish women, and American Jews and politics. The essays are amply illustrated with items from the rich collection of the Library of Congress's Hebraic Section, among them the first Hebrew bible printed in America and the first Yiddish American cookbook, as well as selections of photographs, prints, diaries, maps, and sheet music.
Central to the Jewish experience in America is that country's commitment to ideals of freedom, opportunity, religious liberty, equality, and pluralism. The continuity of the faith, in fact, depends on it. From Haven to Home--the story of Jews in America--is therefore also the story of America and American ideals. 100 color illustrations.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 After one night's deadly mistake, a man will go to any lengths to save his family and his reputation.
Neurosurgeon Eitan Green has the perfect life--married to a beautiful police officer and father of two young boys. Then, speeding along a deserted moonlit road after an exhausting hospital shift, he hits someone. Seeing that the man, an African migrant, is beyond help, he flees the scene. When the victim's widow knocks at Eitan's door the next day, holding his wallet and divulging that she knows what happened, Eitan discovers that her price for silence is not money. It is something else entirely, something that will shatter Eitan's safe existence and take him into a world of secrets and lies he could never have anticipated. WAKING LIONS is a gripping, suspenseful, and morally devastating drama of guilt and survival, shame and desire from a remarkable young author on the rise.
Ethel, a Jewish 70] no-nonsense New Yorker, becomes concerned with her daughter Debra's incessant focus on the spiritual quest and a Sanskrit-dubbed Western teacher. One day Ethel gets into her Volvo and heads to the ashram in the Catskill Mountains. Convinced she'll uncover evidence for her worries, she instead finds herself reluctantly charmed by Anandaji's earthy manner and intrigued by his Zen-flavored teachings. Ethel's story takes place over five days and mirrors our own as she plays tug-of-war with the steady pull of truth. She never abandons her prudent skepticism and trademark humor, and through her innocent investigations we come to suspect that the most sublime truths may run parallel to our innate common sense. Backdrop to this theme is a deepening of acceptance between mother and daughter who in turn become each other's gurus.
"Beautifully written, sparkling and astute observations on the introduction of meditative culture to our world. Barbi Schulick is a wonderful storyteller, her marvelous sense of humor enables us to have some good laughs and at the very same time grow in wisdom. A truly unique skill."
--Larry Rosenberg, author of Breath by Breath and Three Steps to Awakening
"A beautiful, tender, life-changing tale; I loved every word. The perfect story for the seeking heart...comforting and inspiring, just like Ethel Katz."
--Juli I. Huss, author of The Faux Gourmet and Happy Maisy Coleman
"Ethel will make you laugh and move your soul. Follow her journey, and you may find your way home."
-- J an Frazier, author of When Fear Falls Away and The Freedom of Being
About the author: Barbi Schulick's essays have appeared in The Sun, Yoga Journal, Spirituality and Health, Hadassah and Tricycle. Ethel Katz Finds Her Guru is her first novel and was inspired by the playful intersection between her mother's skepticism and her teacher's inspiration.
A witty, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching epistolary novel, soon to be a major motion picture starring James Caan, Rosanna Arquette, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about a dysfunctional family--led by a Jewish pig farmer in Israel--struggling to love and accept each other.
As comic as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles several months in the lives of an estranged family of colorful eccentrics. Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who has left his thriving medical practice in New York--to raise pigs in Israel. His ex-wife, Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly battles an aggressive illness. Their son, David, an earnest and successful playwright, has vowed to reconnect with his father since coming out. Annabelle, their daughter, finds herself unmoored in Paris in the aftermath of a breakup.
Harry eschews technology, so his family, spread out around the world, must communicate with him via snail mail. Even as they grapple with challenges, their correspondence sparkles with levity. They snipe at each other, volleying quips across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe, and find joy in unexpected sources.
Holy Lands captures the humor and poignancy of an adult family striving to remain connected across time, geography, and radically different perspectives on life.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize
An electrifying novel about beauty, envy, and carelessness from Deborah Levy, author of the Booker Prize finalists Hot Milk and Swimming Home.
It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life.
The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power. Here, Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries-feminine and masculine, East and West, past and present--to reveal the full spectrum of our world.
An award-winning historian shares the true story of a frayed and diasporic Sephardic Jewish family preserved in thousands of letters
For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers and editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars of the twentieth century, however, redrew the borders around them, in the process transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across boundaries and hemispheres, stretching the familial diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil, and India. In time, the Holocaust nearly eviscerated the clan, eradicating whole branches of the family tree.
In Family Papers, the prizewinning Sephardic historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein uses the family's correspondence to tell the story of their journey across the arc of a century and the breadth of the globe. They wrote to share grief and to reveal secrets, to propose marriage and to plan for divorce, to maintain connection. They wrote because they were family. And years after they frayed, Stein discovers, what remains solid is the fragile tissue that once held them together: neither blood nor belief, but papers.
With meticulous research and care, Stein uses the Levys' letters to tell not only their history, but the history of Sephardic Jews in the twentieth century.
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America
A memoir of family, the Holocaust, trauma, and identity, in which Adam Frankel, a former Obama speechwriter, must come to terms with the legacy of his family's painful past and discover who he is in the wake of a life-changing revelation about his own origins.
"The Survivors is an astonishingly beautiful and profoundly moving book. Frankel's haunting search to unravel the mysteries of his family is so compelling that it reads like a fine novel." -Doris Kearns Goodwin
Adam Frankel's maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust and built new lives, with new names, in Connecticut. Though they tried to leave the horrors of their past behind, the pain they suffered crossed generational lines--a fact most apparent in the mental health of Adam's mother. When Adam sat down with her to examine their family history in detail, he learned another shocking secret, this time one that unraveled Adam's entire understanding of who he is.
In the midst of piecing together a story of inherited familial trauma, Adam discovered he was only half of who he thought he was, knowledge that raised essential questions of identity. Who was he, if not his father's son? If not part of a rich heritage of writers and public servants? Does it matter? What defines a family's bonds? What will he pass on to his own children? To rewrite his story in truth and to build a life for his own young family, Adam had to navigate his pain to find answers and a way forward.
Throughout this journey into the past, his family's psyche, and his own understanding of identity, Adam comes to realize that while the nature of our families' traumas may vary, each of us is faced with the same choice. We can turn away from what we've inherited--or, we can confront it, in the hopes of moving on and stopping that trauma from inflicting pain on future generations. The stories Adam shares with us in The Survivors are about the ways the past can haunt our future, the resilience that can be found on the other side of trauma, and the good that can come from things that are unspeakably bad.
A New Yorker Best Book of 2019
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
Winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature's Best Writing Award
Shortlisted for the Stella Prize
"Tumarkin presents a remarkable tour de force . . . These essays will linger in readers' minds for years after."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
Drawing on nine years of research, Axiomatic explores the ways we understand the traumas we inherit and the systems that sustain them. In five sections--each one built on an axiom about how the past affects the present--Tumarkin weaves together true and intimate stories of a community dealing with the extended aftermath of a suicide, a grandmother's quest to kidnap her grandson to keep him safe, one community lawyer's struggle inside and against the criminal justice system, a larger-than-life Holocaust survivor, and the history of the author's longest friendship.
With verve, wit, and critical dexterity, Tumarkin asks questions about loss, grief, and how our particular histories inform the people we become in the world. Axiomatic introduces an unforgettable voice.