The ProsenPeople

Witz is a Superhero…

Monday, January 03, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Miri Pomerantz Dauber

Not only has Josh Cohen’s new book Witz  received great reviews and been included on 2010 best fiction lists, it can even save your life! Electric Literature conducted an experiment to determine the safest book around…and Witz is it. Watch Witz show off its superpower.

Birth of A Family Business

Monday, January 03, 2011 | Permalink

Michael Wex is the author of Born to Kvetch, and the new novel The Frumkiss Family Business. He will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning’s Author Blog.

A couple of years ago, Diane Martin, an editor at Knopf Canada, told me a story about an acquaintance of hers, a Jewish man living with a gentile woman who had become so fascinated with her partner’s cultural background that she had taken the plunge and converted to Judaism a couple of weeks earlier.

While the man had no ideological objections to a decision that could do nothing but make his parents, if not happy, at least happier than they had been about his relationship, he was concerned with a far more fundamental problem. According to Diane, he took his wallet from his pocket––he was a writer and Diane was his editor––flipped the photo holder open and showed Diane a picture of a California blonde in a bikini. “She doesn’t look hot to me anymore.”

Whatever this couple’s relationship had been, it owed too much to the woman’s forbidden quality, her psychic role as bacon and eggs in briefs and a bra, to survive her passage into kashrus. The man was alienated by the idea of a woman who wasn’t an alien and the couple split up not long afterwards.

“Nu, Michael,” asked Diane, who’d discovered the Yiddish word only a short time before, “think you could do a novel about something like that? About a non-Jew who finds out that they’re Jewish and how that affects their marriage to a Jew?”
“Of course,” I said.

I lied. But not completely. I could have written that book, but I didn’t. I turned Diane’s idea inside out. An attempt to look at the nature of intermarriage became an examination of what it means to be Jewish in circumstances where Judaism has more to do with feeling than with religious observance or belief; what it means to be Jewish in a society like ours, where such phrases as “Jewish atheist” or “Jewish Buddhist” are no longer seen as contradictions in terms.

As I did more and more work on the book, though, I noticed strange things happening to me. The more I wrote, the less consistent my opinion of the photo that I keep on my desk: the then-future Mrs. Wex in sash and bikini during her reign as Miss Camp Sheynvelt.

Come back all week to read Michael Wex’s blog posts. His new novel, The Frumkiss Family Business, is now available.

The Genesis of a Cartoon

Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Permalink
Earlier this week Ken Krimstein wrote about becoming a Jewish cartoonistpromoting his book, and Jewish gag cartoonists. He is the author of Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons. He has been blogging all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s author blogging series



Ken Krimstein‘s new book, Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons, is now available.

In Minneapolis? Lucky you. You get to see Ken Krimstein LIVE at the 2011 Jewish Humor Festival at the Sabes JCC on January 16th! He’ll be performing the ‘show’ version of Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons. Buy your tickets here.

Dolly City

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

I know I’m a little behind on this one, but as I’m just *finally* reading Orly Castel-Bloom’s Dolly City  now, I felt the need to share Tablet’s review of the title from October, where they call it “the most important Israeli novel of the last four decades.” Continue reading here. I Can’t. Put it. Down.

Jewcy Top 10 Fiction of 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Jewcy’s Top 10 Fiction of 2010…here.

Great Cover of the Day: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

The paperback edition of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction will be available February 1, 2011 (see below for cover). Read Rebecca’s guests posts for the JBC/MJL Author Blog here and stay tuned for her article on The Brothers Ashkenazi in the spring issue of Jewish Book World.


Book Trailer for Water for Elephants

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

In case you haven’t heard, Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants has been adapted for the big screen. View the trailer below:

Jewish Gag Cartoonists

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Permalink

Earlier this week Ken Krimstein wrote about becoming a Jewish cartoonist and about promoting his book. He is the author of Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons. He has been blogging all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Visiting Scribe.

In Minneapolis? Lucky you. You get to see Ken Krimstein LIVE at the 2011 Jewish Humor Festival at the Sabes JCC on January 16th! He’ll be performing the ‘show’ version of Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons. Buy your tickets here.



Come back tomorrow to read more of Ken Krimstein‘s work. His new book, Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons, is now available.

J Lit Links

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Kvetch and Wine

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Permalink
Yesterday Ken Krimstein wrote about becoming a Jewish cartoonist. He is the author of Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons. He has been blogging all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.




Come back tomorrow to read more of Ken Krimstein‘s work. His new book, Kvetch As Kvetch Can: Jewish Cartoons, is now available.