Arts & Culture


The Boy From Baku

By Elizabeth Kiem

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life By Tom Reiss Random House, 464 pages, $25.95. * * *The arid, windswept capital of Azerbaijan is not a tourist mecca. Most travelers to Baku come in search of oil, not romance. But for many Azeris and not a few foreigners, a trip to this desert metropolis of dust,Read More


Biblical Memoirs: Cutting Edge or Old Hat?

By Menachem Wecker

One of the many questions that postmodernism encourages is who gets to write and to “own” stories. Often the process of “owning” a narrative disenfranchises many of the story’s players, who never realize a platform to advance their own perspectives. One of the best illustrations of this is the Bible, which introduces a host of charactersRead More


Kibbitzing Characters

By Erica Brody

‘Sphinx, how marvelous of you to know exactly the right hat to wear at 7 o’clock in the morning to meet a friend who has been away!” Oscar Wilde professed to ally Ada Leverson — using his familiar endearment — following his 1897 release from Reading Gaol. Two years’ hard labor served for the crime of sodomy had extinguished neitherRead More


True Love by Jonathan Wilson A Short Story From the collection “An Ambulance Is on the Way: Stories of Men in Trouble”

Each month, in coordination with our reading series in New York, the Forward publishes an excerpt from the work of that month’s series guest or guests. This month, we will feature readings by Jonathan Wilson and Yael Goldstein (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight is from Wilson’s new bookRead More


This Month at Novel Jews

NOVEL JEWS is a downtown reading series that presents provocative and enlightening fiction and literary nonfiction by both today’s literary superstars and the emerging voices of tomorrow. It is co-sponsored by the Sol Goldman 14th Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan and the Forward.Jonathan Wilson is the author of two works of fiction, “TheRead More


Beyond Research: Ansky’s Chronicle of Tenderness

By Alyssa Quint

The Enemy at His Pleasure: A Journey Through the Jewish Pale of Settlement During World War I By S. AnskyEdited and Translated By Joachim Neugroschel Metropolitan Books, 352 pages, $30. * * *On January 1, 1915, an article was published in a Warsaw-based Yiddish newspaper that appealed to its readers to record their experiences: WeRead More


Where Is It Written?

By Philologos

The attractively smiling woman in the black-and-white photograph sits curled on a sofa, looking younger than she tells us she is. She says: “Where is it written that because my hair is gray and I have grandkids, I have to retire? Well, I don’t think so! Oh, sure, I’ll retire someday, I just don’t know when. What I do know is that I need toRead More


You’ve Really Done It This Time

By Jeffrey Fiskin

Two men, one old, the other older, walk along the edge of an encampment at the foot of a great mountain. They can hear the keening of thousands, a collective wail of deep sorrow, of eternal repentance.Aaron: Well, you’ve really done it this time. What were you thinking?Moses: Don’t even try to make this look like my fault.Aaron: Not the GoldenRead More


Visiting Again With the Divine Fannie Hurst

By Eunice Lipton

The Stories of Fannie Hurst Edited by Susan Koppelman The Feminist Press at CUNY (The Helen Rose Scheuer Jewish Women’s Series), 349 pages, $16.95. * * *We Jews are spielers. We have Malamud, Singer, Paley, Roth to show for it. And we also have Anzia Yzierska, Edna Ferber, Mike Gold and Fannie Hurst. If the second group is not as giftedRead More


The Old Master Of Tel Aviv

By Joseph Hoffman

When you are at the top of your profession, enjoy an international reputation in the art world and have achieved financial success and critical acclaim, what do you do for an encore?That’s the question that faces Menashe Kadishman, arguably Israel’s most brilliant artistic export. His works can be found in New York’s Metropolitan Museum ofRead More


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