The ProsenPeople

Jewish Fiction Writers' Conference

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

The 92nd Street Y and the Jewish Book Council have teamed up to bring you the First Annual Jewish Fiction Writers’ Conference. If you write adult fiction for the Jewish market, this conference is for you! Meet with top professionals from the publishing world. Whether you are a new author or have already been published, this is your opportunity to network with the experts who can help you get your work into print. The conference will be held at the 92nd Street Y ( 1395 Lexington Avenue (NY, NY)) on Sunday, March 15th from 9am-5pm.

The fee to attend is $115 before February 16, $135 after February 16, and this includes kosher breakfast and lunch.

Programs will include:

Let’s Talk: Publicity Beyond Your Bubby’s Friends 
Shira Dicker (Shira Dicker Media International) and Cary Goldstein (Warner Twelve)

Publishing Your Jewish Short Stories
Erika Dreifus (The Practicing Writer:

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match 

David Forrer (Inkwell Management)

Today I Am An Author: The First Steps into Literary Adulthood
Jeffrey Hantover, Liel Leibovitz, and Darin Strauss

Yes, It’s the Best Book I’ve Read Since the Bible, But…
Lara Heinert (Basic Books) and Altie Karper (Schocken Books/Random House)

Why Is This Story Different Than All Other Stories?

Binnie Kirshenbaum (Columbia University Graduate School of Arts)

Which Came First, the Bagels or the Lox? The Basics of Publishing Marketing
Elisabeth Scharlatt (Algonquin Books)

For information or to register, please call 212-415-5544 or e-mail

AJL Launches Podcast

Friday, December 05, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

For those looking to add to their Jewish literary podcast subscriptions, take a look at the new podcasts from the Association of Jewish Libraries. The podcasts will feature author talks, lectures on Jewish literature, panel discussions, and workshops.

“Jews are book lovers, and Jewish librarians even more so,” says Susan Dubin, President of the Association of Jewish Libraries. “The AJL Podcast gives us a way to share our enthusiasm with others, without geographical or scheduling restrictions. Now everyone can learn and enjoy!”

To access the podcasts, please click here.

Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think!

God is a Tree

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Just came across a lovely new book of poems by Esther Cohen entitled God Is a Tree, and Other Middle-Age Prayers. The publisher is dead on when describing the book: “You can’t help but smile when you encounter her delightful images.” For your reading pleasure, poem “Nine”:

Today I’m finally
ready to write a prayer.
This is it.
I had a Bas Mitzvah
a long time ago.
I wrote a prayer then, too.
God Is a Tree was my title.
Louis Savitsky didn’t like it.
Afterwards he asked me
why I had the chutzpah
to think God was a tree.
His daughter became a Scientologist.
This is my prayer for you, God.
Tree or not.
It’s more a song,
more Ry Cooder than Martin Buber.
I like them both.
You too,
on good days,
when I can sit
under a tree,
just sit.


A great gift for the holidays, and it’s only $10! To find out more information about the book, please visit here.

And, if you like this book, you may enjoy another title that Esther worked on with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast called Don’t Mind Me, And Other Jewish Lies. A second little treat from Esther Cohen for the holiday season!

For more information about this title, please visit here.

Yehoshua in the NY Times

Monday, December 01, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

An interesting piece on A.B. Yehoshua’s new novel Friendly Fire: A Duet can be found here.

The Jewish Community of...

Monday, December 01, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Are you from Scranton? How about Savannah? Or Weequahic? How about Ann Arbor?

Arcadia Publishing’s series on Jews across America provides a trip through American history with these slim volumes (most are 128 pages) that contain a glimpse of the Jewish experience throughout the U.S.. Each title explores a different community and includes the history of the community, interesting trivia, and photographs. To view a full list of titles from this series, click here and search for “Jewish.”

Fiction and Non-Fiction and the Sami Rohr Prize Winners

Monday, November 24, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Dan Friedman’s musings on the first two Sami Rohr Prize Winners, Tamar Yellin (The Genizah at the House of Shepher) and Lucette Lagnado (The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit) can be found at Jewcy.

Move Over Europe

Friday, November 21, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Over the past several years, the Jewish Book Council has received an influx of titles concerning the plight of Jews outside the boundaries of Europe. No longer are our shelves dominated by the European Jewish experience, as we see an increasing number of books that convey stories of the Jewish experience in Iran, Iraq, India, and Egypt, among other places. As the Jewish communities of these regions shrink, it’s important that we encourage the publication of these gems of history that capture the vibrancy and unique qualities these cultures hold. With Winter at our door, what better time to stay inside and expand your understanding of the Jewish experience.

A few suggestions to you get you going…

My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, Ariel Sabar

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World, Lucette Lagnado

The Septembers of Shiraz, Dalia Sofer

The Last Jews of Kerala: The Two Thousand Year History of India’s Forgotten Jewish Community, Edna Fernandes

Dropped From Heaven, Sophie Judah

The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home, Sadia Shepard

Farewell, Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad, Naim Kattan

Have another recommendation? Please comment and let us know!

Jews Rock!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

This November brings us a glimpse into our musical past. Thanks to Roger Bennett, Josh Kun, and Janet Macoska, we now have two new titles to enhance our image of Jews on the music scene. With Bennett and Kun’s And You Shall Know Us By the Trail of Our Vinyl you’ll have the opportunity to peruse album covers of long ago and reacquaint yourself with forgotten moments in Jewish American pop history, including well-dressed cantors singing Christmas tunes, Long Island suburbanites dancing the mambo, and Chassidic prog-rockers. With Macoska’s book of photography Jews Rock!, you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the influence of Jewish talent in the world of rock and roll, including images of Bob Dylan, Gene Simons, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and Bette Midler. 

And…for your listening pleasure:

People of the (Comic) Book

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Our Summer and Fall issue of Jewish Book World featured a piece on the history of Jewish graphic novels and comics books. You can now access the article here.

If you enjoy this article, you may want to check out the new Jewish Publication Society title From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books, by Arie Kaplan.

Avant-Garde Zionism

Friday, November 14, 2008 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

For all of your avant-garde Zionist needs, we’d like to introduce you to a new publisher, Miriam Books, that’s dedicated to fostering Zionism as an avant-garde force for artistic and intellectual progress in the 21st Century. We just received the inaugural publication, Alan Kaufman’s Visionary Expressionism, and are eager to see more from this new voice on the Jewish publishing scene.