In a special edition of this week?s Yid Lit podcast, Isaiah Sheffer host of National Public Radio?s ?Selected Shorts,? reads from the newly rereleased novel ?The Magician of Lublin? by Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer.
If you pay for a membership to Netflix or Zipcar, if you’ve gone to a clothing swap, a potluck or given or gotten anything from Craigslist, you’re participating in “collaborative consumption,” the phenomenon of sharing, swapping, borrowing and lending that Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers name and dissect in their new book, “What’s Mine is Yours” (Harper Business), is enabled by networking technology and is changing the way we live. I spoke with author and speaker Rachel Botsman recently about the sharing’s Jewish roots and Israel’s unique position in this space as a kibbutznik culture and technology front-runner.
Contrary to the title of Rebecca Traister’s new book, “Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women,” there’s quite a bit of crying in it: everyone from Sarah Palin to Gloria Steinem, to Traister herself show their emotions in this raw, narrative look at the 2008 race to the presidency from a reporter who covered it — often times through a feminist lens — for Salon.com. The feeling approach to the boxing match of politics is part of what is so delightful and unique about the book, which is a story of tearing down barriers, making tough decisions and admitting that, though women have come quite far, we have only just begun to change attitudes and a culture still inordinately built towards men.
Adam Langer’s novel, “The Thieves of Manhattan” uses an all-too-familiar climate of made-up memoirs as a place to set con games. In this Yid Lit Podcast, Langer talks about writing to Stephen Sondheim, world-class literary hoaxes and why he doesn’t think of himself as a Jewish writer.
In her new memoir, “Everything is Going to Be Great,” author and performer Rachel Shukert travels to Europe after college to “escape the weight of [her] own expectations,” which involves no small measure of drinking, gallivanting and sleeping with (non-American) boys.
Jennifer Gilmore’s fiction centers on an inevitability — that everything from the food we eat to our friends and politics is affected by the ideas first formed in our childhood homes.
Gary Shteyngart is a best-selling novelist and globetrotter. He came to this country with his family from Leningrad in 1979, and his work has become a touchstone of literature about the Russian Jewish immigrant experience. His third novel is now out, “Super Sad True Love Story” (Random House) and in it, the sweet if schlubby Lenny Abramov clings desperately to books in a culture that can’t read, while falling in love with one of illiteracy’s young victims. Both are children of immigrants, and the couple tries to stay together amidst an America that is crumbling around them. When Shteyngart visited the Forward studios we talked about Jews who fetishize the shtetl, adult circumcision and love in the age of screens.
When Jon Papernick sits down to write, he imagines a tiny rabbi sitting on his shoulder, guiding his Jewish education, which he explores through craft of writing short stories. The author of the collections “The Ascent of Eli Israel” and most recently “There is No Other,” Papernick was a journalist in Israel after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and before he began writing harrowing, often satirical stories about Jewish identity and faith.
Ben Greenman is an author and an editor at The New Yorker magazine who is worried about the state of written communication — now that lightening speed of email has replaced the patience and thoughtfulness required to send someone you care about a hand-written note.
Whether she meant to or not, 28-year-old Emily Gould has become something of a poster child for a life lived openly online. As an editor at the online magazine, Gawker, she documented the comings and goings of New York media elite, and on her personal blog, she wrote about dating, cheating and searching for love. She is the author of a new memoir which combines those subjects called “And the Heart Says Whatever.”