On Culture: Diamant's Friendship Narrative; Debating Sophie Tucker
• “Day After Night,” the new novel by Anita Diamant, author of “The Red Tent” and “The Last Days of Dogtown” as well as many nonfiction titles about Jewish life, concerns the friendship between four scarred young women — all survivors of the Holocaust, living in a postwar refugee camp in Palestine shortly before the 1948 war. If you happen to be in New York, Diamant will be reading at 7 p.m., Monday, September 14 at McNally Jackson Books in Soho. Here’s an early review of the novel from the Miami Herald.
• Sophie Tucker, famed songstress and theater star, is being remembered with a new anthology of her early work work, “Sophie Tucker: Origins of the Red Hot Mama, 1910-1922.” The New York Times devoted a massive spread to Tucker, in which critics and experts point out how innovative Tucker was. Jewesses with Attitude’s bloggers are delighted to see a “favorite” Jewish heroine of theirs get her due, while Sady Doyle at Salon’s Broadsheet reconciles her admiration for Tucker with the fact that she, like so many performers of her time, got her start doing blackface routines.
• Larry David’s HBO sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comes back September 20. The biggest draw of this upcoming season, of course, is the plot arc that will feature Larry David gathering the “Seinfeld” cast members back together (yes, they’re all going to be there, even Michael Richards) for a televised reunion, a few tantalizing scenes of which will actually be broadcast. But that’s not the only thing to look forward to this season: the Black family, Jeff and Susie, and Larry’s ex-wife Cheryl will all be back for more signature snark and confusion. Speaking of “Seinfeld” and “Curb,” Forward contributor Michael Kaminer profiled Carol Leifer, the noted comedienne who wrote for the former and appears on the latter.
• The American Prospect’s Dana Goldstein is one of a chorus American bloggers and commentators who are not pleased by an Israeli television ad saying that Jews who intermarry are “lost” and urges visits to Israel as a way to help them “come home” again. “But who would want to be “found” by a community that so denigrates one’s origins?” Goldstein writes. The Forward’s J.J. Goldberg was among the first to weigh in on the ad. Read his post here.
• Tablet magazine’s Marissa Brostoff takes on the much-buzzed-about indie film “Amreeka” about an immigrant family moving from the West Bank to Illinois. She asks whether a sweet family story about a young Palestinian girl in the Midwest is inherently political, simply because it’s depicting the human toll of the fraught Mideast conflict.