The Schmooze

30 Days, 30 Texts: 'Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number'

In celebration of Jewish Book Month, The Arty Semite is partnering with the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and the Jewish Book Council to present “30 Days, 30 Texts,” a series of reflections by community leaders on the books that influenced their Jewish journeys. Today, Rachel Brodie writes about “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number” by Jacobo Timerman.

I was always a conscientious objector (aka bad sport) when teachers used the pedagogic conundrum: If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one book… until I read Jacobo Timerman’s “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number.”

I was 16 and as enamored of the low-affect nihilism of Sartre and Beckett as I was fascinated by the manic irreverence of Saturday Night Live and The Clash. At the same time, my favorite subject in school was Talmud and I fantasized about moving to Jerusalem.

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30 Days, 30 Texts: 'Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number'

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