The ProsenPeople

Interview: Matthue Roth

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | Permalink

by Elie Lichtschein

Elie Lichtenstein recently spoke with Matthue Roth about his newest book, The Gobblings.

Elie Lichtschein: You've written both novels and picture books. Does the process of writing a picture book differ much from writing a novel? How so?

Matthue Roth:The process of writing any story is different than any other one, of course—just by virtue of the character and the plot and the lives you're telling. But yes. When you're writing a picture book, you're making a blueprint. Every line you write is going to linger in the artist's mind and is going to be magnified a thousand times—you only get, what? Five or ten lines to a page? And partly because the artist will transform those five or ten lines into a whole tableau. Multiply that by sixteen double-page spreads, and that's the space you get to tell an entire story.

EL: What did the collaboration process between you and Rohan look like?

MR: There's a period of time where the manuscript is fully mine, and then a period where it's fully his. Our editor, Robert, is sort of the in-betweener—he's the conductor. There was some back-and-forthing, which was annoying for Rohan, I'm sure, because he was already work­ing on layouts when I was still planning what would happen in the big chase scene. But it also made everything a lot more integrated; it made the whole book more of a collaborative effort.

EL: What was the impetus behind The Gobblings? What inspired and pushed you to write it?

MR: Mostly this intense feeling of loneliness I had while spending time in Australia, and a Baal Shem Tov story of a boy on his own in a synagogue in a strange town on Yom Kippur [see the review here for a summary of the story]. I want to say that my kids pushed me, too—and they do; they're always asking for stories, and my head is rarely together enough to be able to launch a story at them fully-formed—but I think at heart, every story I tell is for myself. If it doesn't hold my attention, picture book or novel or film or something else, then it's probably not good enough for anyone else to read.

EL: What other works inform your writing? Which authors—classic or contemporary—were most influential while you worked on The Gob­blings?

MR: I think there's a lot of Kafka in there. And some of Maurice Sendak, who's basically in my DNA, and Kelly Link, who tells these very natural and organic science fiction stories that are both comforting and scary.

EL: You've written a picture book retelling classic Kafka stories. And the gobblings—long-snouted, reptilian, alien monsters who feed on metals and machines—are wonderfully Kafkaesque in their mundane absur­dity; they are, essentially, huge mosquito-like pests in outer space. Was this a conscious choice to channel Kafka in their creation?

MR: It really wasn't a conscious choice to evoke Kafka, although he's al­ways hunting around my brain. One reviewer pointed out that nobody's really evil in The Gobblings; even the gobblings only do what they need to to survive. It's really like a fairy tale—well, with space ships and ro­bots and stuff. Nobody's wicked; they just have different priorities.

EL: I understand you recently received an MFA in creative writing. Did The Gobblings, in an earlier draft, make an appearance in your program?

MR: Not directly! But I think telling stories is one of those things that, the more you do, the better you get. It ramped up my skills, not just how to tell "Adult Literary Fiction Short Stories," but how to tell stories.

EL: To write a picture book, do you need to be transported back into your childhood? Or else into a wide-eyed, all-is-possible, child-like mindset? If so, how do you achieve this?

MR: I think that telling any story is like creating a world. Sometimes it's even literal. I think I definitely get transported into a different mindset, but it's less "a kid mindset" than it is the mindset of my character. I think it's really just, like, whose story am I telling, and what words and form tell it best? And for Herbie, I was like, this is a picture book.

EL: What can readers expect from you next?

MR: I have two picture books in the works! One is called No Dogs Al­lowed, and it's about a dog that gets kicked out of a corner store and goes on a sort of fantastic undersea journey. The other is We Are in a Pot of Chicken Soup, and it also has a sort of fantastic journey. Under, um, schmaltz.

EL: What are you reading right now?

MR: A short novel by Steve Stern, The North of God, part of Melville House's wonderful novella series. And I just got my press copy of this crazy anthology called Jews Vs. Aliens, which I'm in, but now is the first time I get to read the other people's stories, which are uniformly bizarre and awesome. And with my kids, we just watched the film Labyrinth for the first time, and we're rereading Maurice Sendak's Outside Over There, which it's based on.

Elie Lichtschein is a writer and musician based in New York. He is currently pursuing an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the New School, where he is completing a mysti-fantasy Middle Grade adventure novel.

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How to Write about Moving a Mountain

Thursday, December 11, 2014 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Matthue Roth wrote about why authors like to torture people they love. He has been blogging here all week for Jewish Book Council's Visiting Scribe series.

It's really hard writing a book that doesn't fall anywhere into any mainstream categories. Take, for example, my emo science fiction picture book The Gobblings, which just came out. It does happen to be a retelling of a Baal Shem Tov story, but not in any recognizable form that you can be like, "Here's the Jewish content!"


This is the Baal Shem Tov. According to folklore, he performed holy somersaults as he prayed.

I once submitted a book to PJ Library, the amazing program that sends free picture books to tens of thousands of Jewish kids. It was rejected—the reason given was, the family in it went to synagouge; it was too Jewish. I submitted another book. It was called The Blackout and it was about a family who never spoke to each other; one night, the lights went out and they had to have dinner and tell each other stories and sing songs—essentially, they had to do Shabbat. Their reply? It wasn't Jewish enough. Man, I felt like I was back on the Jewish dating scene.


This is Herbie, hero of The Gobblings. He might be opening the gates of heaven, but you really can't tell he's Jewish.

Somebody said to me in an interview that they'd heard Gobblings was based on a Jewish story. But there was nothing in the art that said that; no moral; no one had Jewish names or were wearing yarmulkes. "Was that intentional?" they asked me. I didn't have a good answer; I didn't want to say that I didn't tell Rohan, the artist, that the book had anything to do with the Baal Shem Tov (I didn't) (and if he's reading this, he's probably just finding that out now) (hi, Rohan!). But the truth was, the story's roots as a "Jewish folktale" were never part of its Jewish identity to me. It was its spirit, the idea at its heart of doing something impossible and of a kid's simple belief changing the world and saving his family.

One day, I'd love to write a story that helps my kids understand the idea of praying, and changing the world that way, and of the gates of heaven being forced open by one person's words. One day I hope to understand that much. Honestly, the only thing I've ever written that might come close is another picture book, one called We Are in a Pot of Chicken Soup—it's about two kids cooking soup and adding all the ingredients out of their imagination.

That one, I completely plagiarized—I stole the story (and the title) from my kids. If there's one person (actually, three people) who I trust to get my prayers through the gates of heaven, it's them. They might not be very good at bedtime rituals, but when it comes to believing in things, they could move mountains.

Matthue Roth's first book, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was a NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age and an ALA Best Books nominee. His latest is The Gobblings, illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason. By day, he's a video game designer. He lives in Brooklyn with his family and keeps a secret diary at matthue.com

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Why Authors Like to Torture People We Love

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 | Permalink

Matthue Roth's first book, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was a NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age and an ALA Best Books nominee. His latest is The Gobblings, illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason. By day, he's a video game designer. He will be blogging here all week for Jewish Book Council's Visiting Scribe series.

The first time I tried to explain where I found the idea for my new picture book The Gobblings, I had to start and restart a few times. I was wrestling with all these Big Ideas, ideas which included:

  • The nightly parade of fairy penguins from the Australian coastline
  • Being separated from your friends, and semi-stranded in a country where the only people you knew were your parents, who didn't understand you (actually, for me, my in-laws, who were really valiant and tried hard but still mostly didn't understand me)
  • Is it possible to be friends with robots?

And a bunch more things. I wrote a blog post about my motivations, called it "I Stole a Story from the Baal Shem Tov," and tied it up as narratively neatly as I could.

But the essence of The Gobblings was an early Hasidic folktale called "The Alef-Bet" (or "The Alef-Bais" for you old schoolers). It's a quick one, so let me tell it here:

The Alef-Bais

On Yom Kippur night, a boy wanders into a synagogue. He doesn't know how to pray, he doesn't know Hebrew; all he knows is the Hebrew alphabet. So he recites that and hopes the letters will rearrange into the right words. At the end of the story, they do, and his prayers not only give him a good year, but they also save everyone else in the whole synagogue.

Nice, right? I always loved the story, and it also freaked me out. Like, what was a boy doing wandering alone into synagogue? Why didn't he just pray in whatever words he understood? But I also really understood it, because it felt like everybody's experience praying. We're all alone. We're all shouting out to someone who might not be there. We don't really know what to ask for—I mean, a nice house and money and a suitcase full of Legos would be cool, but none of us knows what we truly need.

Writers are sadists. I first imagined Herbie, and everything came to me in a rush—his loneliness, his sense of exploration, the fact that, if he were on a space station, he'd instantly try to find all these secret rooms and make robot friends. And for every thought I had, there was an equal and opposite thought of: How do we show this in the clearest, best?

And the answer is always: You throw your character—your new creation; the thing you love most in the world—in front of the bus.

When I want to show how much Herbie cares about his friends, I make him isolated and alone. To show his creative spirit and his ingenuity, I put him in a place where there's nothing to do and force him to build his own robots. When I want to show him at his best and most heroic, I try to break him.

I'm pretty sure that literary theory is not the way that the Baal Shem Tov wrote "The Alef-Bais." But that's exactly what happens in it, right? The nameless child has no one, so he shows up to the synagogue. He isn't on the intellectual or cultural level of the congregation, so he isn't given a prayerbook or a kind word. He doesn't know how to pray, but it is the wanting to pray itself that registers as the deepest and most effective prayer.

Writers are sadists. And I occasionally do feel really guilty about this. (I also occasionally get some really wonderful and loving letters from readers who think I'm an absolute bastard for doing these things to my characters.) But if the Baal Shem Tov did it, then maybe it's not all bad? And maybe—maybe—I'm not all bad, either.

Matthue Roth lives in Brooklyn with his family and keeps a secret diary at matthue.com

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A Lonely Golem

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Matthue Roth wrote about why kids love scary stories. He will be blogging here all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning.

I was trying to figure out how to get people to buy My First Kafka from me directly instead of, say, Amazon. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy when anyone buys my book from anywhere, but it's a nice feeling when you actually sell the copy yourself. (Also, you make slightly more than the 43 cents per copy or whatever that you get from your publisher, but that's a different story.)

So I wrote this tiny mini-book. It's a short story, and it's called "The Last Golem in Prague." It was an eleventh-hour creation in every sense. The books had just arrived in the mail, people were actually buying them, which I couldn't (and still mostly can't) believe, and I had to send out something. For months I'd sat in front of my notebook, page blank, wondering what sort of story I should write for whatever people might buy my weird children's book.

And then, at 11:59 or so, everything clicked together.

Here's what I wasn't thinking when I started writing:

a) I should write something that sounds like Kafka.
b) I should write a story for adults, since mostly it'll be adults buying a copy for children and they deserve something of their OWN to read, too, dammit.
c) I should read something Kafka would want to read.

...and a bunch of other stuff, I wasn’t thinking, either. What I was thinking was how I used to live in Prague, in a student dorm that had a country & western dance club in the basement, and a convent surrounded by vast woods next door.

Now, I never went down to the basement club (unfortunately), and I never went to the convent (even more unfortunately), and just saying either of those things in a story is way too unreal-sounding to be true. You can't actually write it because nobody will believe it.

So I kept the details to myself, and I wrote a story that starts when I hear the pounding noise of the club and go down to investigate. And I try to dance. I won't tell you much more about the story, but it does feature my two favorite themes in the world (loneliness/isolation/existential peril and girls) and there is a golem involved.

     
The Hidden Track, Unfolded

I pulled back when I finished. I realized that maybe I hadn't written the sort of story that Kafka would have written himself, but there was more than a little bit of him that got sucked in. In the end, the story wasn't about the place at all, but the feelings and the thoughts and the experiences.

Matthue Roth's newest book is My First Kafka: Rodents, Runaways, and Giant Bugs. He lives in Brookyn with his family and keeps a secret diary at www.matthue.com.

Why Kids Love Scary Stories

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | Permalink
Matthue Roth's newest book is My First Kafka: Rodents, Runaways, and Giant Bugs. He lives in Brooklyn with his family and keeps a secret diary at www.matthue.com. He will be blogging here all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning.

My parents are getting ready to move, to abandon the house I’ve lived in since I was born, and we traveled down to Philadelphia to help them. (No, that’s a lie: We traveled down because I had a reading for my new picture book, My First Kafka, and school is out, and we were getting ready to dump the kids with them for a week.) Everything is in boxes. If there’s one thing my kids are good at (there’s a million things), it’s causing chaos. They promptly set to work unpacking the remains of my parents’ life.

My five-year-old daughter promptly uncovered Treasure Island. Yes, the book. It was an illustrated—though uncut—edition. “Read it,” she demanded.

Hey, what kind of father would I be to deny classic literature to my next of kin? I read.

We reached the first death—a gristly scene where Billy Bones, an old seaman, gorges himself on rum, stabs an old fellow pirate, then collapses dead on the floor. “Are you sure you want me to keep going?” I asked her.

“Read,” she urged me.

Similarly, the second death (Old Pew, trampled by horse-hoofs cutting into his ribs) and the third (the night of Long John Silver's violent mutiny aboard the Hispanola—no, actually, there was no death here, but a whole lot of swordfighting). We took a breath, not because she demanded it, but because my lungs were getting tired. "Are you really sure you want to read this?" I asked her. "Do you know what's going on?"

She looked up at me with earnest, pleading eyes.

"The pirates are getting ready to kick off the good people from the ship," she said. "Now they want to decide if they should kill them or hurt them or leave them on the island all alone."

Kids: one point. Me: zero points. Robert Louis Stevenson: having a freakin' veritable party in his coffin somewhere, I'm sure.

In the past few weeks, I've talked a lot about why kids like dark stories. What I told The New Yorker was, it's because they're still trying to understand the world, things like death and disease and renewal. They're still getting used to existence, and they're exploring this existential state as well as its corollary, what it would mean to NOT exist. That's why they become fascinated with simple, pretty things like flowers and animals, as well as why they'll stare in fascination as a just-stepped-upon ant crinkles slowly in its dying throes.

But I also think that the boundary between dark, depressing stuff and normal, happy stuff doesn't exist for them, not the way it does for us. We as adults have a remarkable capacity to compartmentalize—work and home life, cartoons vs. reality. Kids not only don't need to do that, they don't want to. They're more fascinated with the paradoxes of the universe than the idea that these things could be paradoxes. They don't sit around all day talking about what it could mean that a person could be transformed into a giant bug and what it represents symbolically because, to them, it doesn't represent anything symbolically—it's an actual story.

I’ve been avoiding reading my book to my kids lately. It feels too self-indulgent, too performative; I’m much more comfortable with Maurice Sendak or Arnold Lobel. But at my Philadelphia reading last Sunday, I read one of the stories from the book, “Josefine the Singer, or, the Mouse-People.” The ending is really sad, and I almost cried onstage. My kids, sitting about halfway back, had these huge toothy smiles. After everyone had gone, I asked what they thought of it, and weren’t they sad? “It was sad when you were reading it,” said my younger one. “But it’s a story. It’s supposed to be sad.”

Check back all week for more from Matthue.

Jews, Non-Jews, and Being Losers Together

Friday, December 09, 2011 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Matthue Roth blogged about publishing a real life old-fashioned book and getting up early

Yesterday, I put out a Twitter call: What should I write about? The always-dependable dlevy asked, in reply, "have you talked about responses to your work from non Jewish readers?" I haven't, not yet -- but I also haven't really talked about my response from Jewish readers. (And, sort of on that subject, I could also puzzle why I've gotten such amazing Amazon reviews from readers I don't know -- because, as you know, all Jews know each other -- but the one review that I know is from a friend is, well, nice, but so short.)

Weirdly, if you want to keep a scorecard, I've written two books that are about Orthodox Jews, my first two, and then two books (and a movie) that have nothing to do with Orthodox Jews. I say it's weird because, as I've become more and more fundamentalistly Hasidic, I seem to be writing less overtly about Jews.

What does it mean? And why does my new book Automatic straddle the boundary, telling stories about me in high school, back when I had no idea I'd ever become Orthodox, but sticking in a blurb or two of wisdom from the Vilna Gaon and kabbalah? Here, let me show you:
Every day I remember I’m alive I feel guilty. Some days I sleepwalk through the day and don’t even remember that much. There are kids starving in Africa. There are kids starving a couple blocks from where I live.

The Vilna Gaon says that, if humans weren’t blessed with the power to forget, we would learn all there is to know in two or three years, and there would be no further reason for us to remain alive.

I'd like to think, in my self-assured way, that everyone (Orthodox people, non-Orthodox people, non-Jews) can float with my weird, Paulo Coelho-like digressions, and that they still understand what I'm saying in the first place. Back when I was going to poetry slams every night, people thought of me as "the Jewish guy," even though this was Berkeley and half the room was Jewish -- because I was the one who did poems about being Jewish. I talked about Judaism like the black kids talked about being black, and the Sri Lankan kids talked about being Sri Lankan, and the Palestinian kids talked about being Palestinian. And all my most popular poems were the ones that included the most weird things about religion, and the most Yiddish words:


One night I said to this gay Arab poet, who'd had to leave his country because they wanted to kill him, that we were both in exile, and he said back, Baby, the whole WORLD is in exile. It was the most Jewish thing I'd ever heard. And one of the truest.

Maybe that's the meaning behind Automatic -- it's my little book about my friendship with my Christian best friend, and how Jewish the whole thing was. Or how Irish Catholic it was. Or maybe we're all just talking about the same feelings, and using different metaphors to drive it home. And by "metaphors," I don't mean in that puzzling poetry way. I mean languages. And gods. And ways to digest the whole thing of our lives.

Matthue Roth's newest book is Automatic. He is also the author of three novels and the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go, and is an associate editor at MyJewishLearning.com. His screenplay 1/20 is currently in production as a feature film.

Writers Should Get Up Early

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Matthue Roth blogged about publishing a real life old-fashioned book. He will be blogging all week for JBC and MJL.

As a glutton for torture (and as a recent parent, which is kind of the same thing), I’ve been taking advantage of early mornings. My kids wake up at 6:30 or so, and I leave for the day-job at 8:00ish — so if I’ve ever dreamed of getting anything done before I leave (ha ha, I said dreamed), I’d better be doing it early.

I often get asked what my best writing times are. Usually I go on for hours — I’m either the best or worst interview you’ve had, if, you know, you’re an interviewer — but that question is simple. Late at night or early in the morning. Partly, it’s because no one else is around to distract you. Partly, I think, it’s that those are the times that are closest to sleep, when your mind is most open and your memories are all jumbled up and free-associating and fictionalizing themselves. Those are the times I started writing Automatic. It’s a book where a lot of things blend together, the people I grew up with and growing up Jewish and working-class and my best friend dying and the music that we were listening to as it was all happening.

Those times are when our inhibitions are at their lowest, too. When you can sort of force yourself to write about all those things that you wouldn’t write about otherwise, unless you were drunk or feeling really intense.

Earliness is in our genes. Abraham was an early riser. He used to pray at the moment the sun rises, and there’s still a tradition that, at the moment the sun clears the horizon, the gates of Heaven are open to any prayer sent their way. One of my favorite bits of Jewish historical apocrypha is this: The first minyan of the morning used to be called the “thieves’ minyan,” since they had to be out early to lie in wait for unsuspecting travelers to pass…and even if you were going to be a thief, you still had to pray.

I remember reading that both Michael Chabon and Salman Rushdie work from 10-3. (I also remember thinking, when I read that, really? They’re both amazing writers, and both masters of the craft, but in my too-hardcore-fanboy estimation, both have gotten a little soft and overconfident with their storytelling. The Chabon who wrote the breathtaking, pulse-stopping first scene of Wonder Boys, I don’t think that could ever have happened at 10:30, between cups of coffee. Same with the page-long description of Saleem Sinai’s nose in Midnight’s Children–which, by the way, I strongly feel should be a mission statement for Jewish writers. Or Jews in general.)

I’m probably venting. Also, I have the luxury of having a day-job and a job writing. Normally, it’s an insane balancing act. But it’s that same stress that keeps my passion intact, I hope. The same way TV shows inevitably go downhill once the two forbidden characters consummate their untouchable lust for each other (Moonlighting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), great writers always seem to write their greatest books before they get discovered.* I’m not claiming to be a great writer (although I think I’m a pretty good one). But I hope that, relative to the stories I’ve written before, I still have some of my best stuff yet to be written.

________
*–Or, admittedly, maybe we just claim those books as great, and when they try something else, we inevitably have to compare it, to the new work’s detriment. But all love has to spring from somewhere.

Matthue Roth's newest book is Automatic. He is also the author of three novels and the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go, and is an associate editor at MyJewishLearning.com. His screenplay 1/20 is currently in production as a feature film.

Publishing a Real Life Old-Fashioned Book

Monday, December 05, 2011 | Permalink
Matthue Roth's latest book, Automatic, is now available. He will be blogging here for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning all week.

Here's the thing about being both an author and a blogger: It makes you impatient. When I write a rant or draw a cartoon, I scan it in, click a few buttons, and -- zoomba! -- the world gets it. Or, you know, anyone who happens to be looking at my Twitter page at that moment. When I write a book, I send it to my agent, the editor, the publisher, the copy editor, and then, three years later, you can walk to a bookstore and pick it up.

I'm sure there's some Jewish lesson I should be able to glean from this. Like, how Jerusalem wasn't burned in a day or how over a thousand years passed between the time the Gemara was written and the time it was printed up in its first printed version, the Vilna Shas, the kind that we read today, with all the wacky columns and stuff.

Except, not really. Because the Talmud is called the oral Torah, and the essence of a story is in the telling, not when it's written down and printed with a day-glo green cover and sent to a bookstore. There's something about the immediacy of storytelling that the three-year publishing process, which is standard for the industry, has missed out on. And, weirdly, I think the Internet is bringing it back.

So, partly because I'm a naturally impatient person -- and also partly because it's 15,000 words, which is a weird length that's way too long for a short story and way too short for a novel -- I put out this new book, Automatic, and I did it myself.

I didn't just write it in a day. I spent most of a year editing it. I'd probably still be editing it, except that it's sort of about the band R.E.M. (it's also sort of about my best friend dying) -- and, one day a few weeks ago, R.E.M. broke up. It's now or never, I told myself. In the space of half an hour, I'd signed up for a Kindle author account. And then I hit send, just like sending an email -- and, zoomba. I'd published a book.

Amazon is sort of a double-edged sword -- yes, it's crazy that they own half the universe, but it's an author's dream because THEY ACTUALLY SELL BOOKS. People who never go to bookstores, people like most of my family, will click on Amazon and buy a book in a second. (I also put it on Smashwords as a pdf -- also $2 -- if you don't have a Kindle.)

But I'm old-fashioned. I don't own a Kindle and I don't like reading long things online. Plus, I'm a design slut. I like things that look cool, and books that open like toys, and books that smell like books. So I designed a non-Kindle edition that does all the things ebooks will never do -- it has hand lettering and easy-on-the-eyes layouts, and layouts on the page that (hopefully) make you feel like you're luxuriating in something, not just squeezing the words out of a mass-market paperback. (But, I promise, no annoyingly coy stuff or Fun Fonts). I also made a die-cut front cover, because, dammit, books are meant to be touched.

 

I showed it to my friend/icon/if-I-wasn't-a-Hasidic-Jew-I'd-say-"idol" Richard Nash, who said, "Oh, it's a zine!" And I thought, Oh, yeah -- that's it exactly. Fifteen years after being a teenage zine-maker, using a copy machine at my summer job, I've reverted to being exactly where I started. It isn't glamorous, but hopefully, the product is. And there are worse things in the world. 

I know self-publishing is still a dirty word -- it's like Amanda Hocking said, authors shouldn't have time to do all the stuff involved with publishing; we're too busy being authors. And I've been really fortunate to have people like Scholastic and Soft Skull to take the foot-dragging stuff out of my hands for my big projects. But it's also nice to finger this little handmade thing in my hand and say, dammit, this is mine.


Matthue Roth's newest book is Automatic. He is also the author of three novels and the memoir Yom Kippur a Go-Go, and is an associate editor at MyJewishLearning.com. His screenplay 1/20 is currently in production as a feature film.

Mini Round Up: Stern and Orringer

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Steve Stern (Frozen Rabbicreates a playlist for the NYTimes Paper Cuts blog.

Matthue Roth takes a look at Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge for MyJewishLearning.

BEA

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

It’s been a long (but wonderful) few days for the JBC team. From the Jewish Book Network conference (Rhoda was there!) to BEA, we have lots of updates and new authors to share once we resettle in the office. In the meantime, a few images from BEA…

Matthue Roth's book (see it??) meets Paul Auster's book (and Paul Auster)