The ProsenPeople

Book Cover of the Week: Breaking the Chains of Gravity

Thursday, January 05, 2017 | Permalink

Posted by Nat Bernstein

I’m not sure I can express how much I am looking forward to seeing Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures this weekend: the incredible true story of three black female mathematicians who helped NASA launch John Glenn into orbit in 1962 hits theaters tomorrow! While the film is based on a Margot Lee Shetterly book of the same title, I have my nose buried in a different relevant read:

Amy Shira Teitel’s Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA begins in the spring of 1930, following the German rocket program from the Wehrmacht through World War II and its postwar integration into the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the United States federal agency founded in 1915 and absorbed into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 under President Eisenhower—in response to the October 1957 launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union. This fascinating historical account is a an excellent companion to Michael Chabon’s recent novel Moonglow, which depicts many of the same events, programs, and engineers introduced here in Amy Shira Teitel’s nonfiction debut.

Related Content:

JBC Bookshelf: A Nod Toward the Past

Monday, September 10, 2012 | Permalink
Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Each of these upcoming books nod toward the past in one way or another,  be it the republication of the first Jewish cookbook in America (original pub year: 1871) and a 1962 classic of German short fiction, a look back at the life of Leonard Cohen, or an exploration of the true story behind a young man's death. While these titles leave much to look forward to, here are a few more titles to be on the lookout out for: Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue, Jami Attenberg's The Middlesteins, Shani Boijaniu's The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, Marc Tracy and Franklin Foer's Jewish Jocks, and Amos Oz's Jews and Words.

Speaking of fall delights....JBC's Annual Raid the Shelves event will be on October 10th at JBC HQ. Find more information, including a link for registration, here

Finally, Jewish children's book authors and illustrators should click here to find out more information about the November conference in NYC.


I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, Sylvie Simmons (September 2012, Ecco) 
A biography of one of the most important and influential songwriters of the past fifty years.

Jewish Cookery Book: On Principles of EconomyEsther Levy (October 2012, Andrews McMeel Publishing)
This was the first Jewish cookbook publishing in America (1871) and it was written to help European immigrants adapt to life in the New World while maintaining their religious heritage.

El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel, Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin (November 2012, Basic Books)

When young Rolando Pérez falls off the cliffs outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, the mysteries begin immediately. Was he pushed or did he jump? What are the documents he’s willing to give his life to protect from his family, the police, and the Catholic Church? Ilan Stavans tries to seek the truth about Rolando and the secret documents that reveal the mysterious sect of crypto-Jews (whose lineage is traced back to the Inquisition, and who still live today, partially concealed, in the American Southwest).

The Jew Car, Franz Fühmann; Isabel Fargo Cole, trans. (December 2012, The University of Chicago Press)
Originally published in 1962, The Jew Car is an examination of the psychology of National Socialism, beginning with childhood anti-Semitism and moving to a youtful embrace—and then an ultimate rejection—of Nazi ideology.


NPR: Modern Manhood, An Amateur’s Guide

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Heller McAlpin looks at Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son for NPR, Chabon reads from his book, and an excerpt here.

Michael Chabon in White House Poetry Jam

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Michael Chabon is one lucky guy. Last night he was invited to participate in the White House’s first Poetry Jam, along with Joshua Bennett, James Earl Jones, Eric Lewis, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Mayda Del Valle, and Esperanza Spalding, among others. The evening’s goal was to celebrate poetry, music, and spoken word around the theme of dialogue, “showing how dialogue is important in every aspect of who we are as Americans and as human beings, and demonstrating how communication is a constant throughout the ages."

Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon’s wife and author of the recently published Bad Mother, shares more about their White House evening here.

To view a video of part of the evening, click here.

And more from The New York Times “Art Beat” Blog here.

And their Politics and Government Blog, here.

If you search “michael chabon+ayelet waldman+white house poetry,” you’ll find many more posts on this historical evening. Search away!

Michael Chabon: A Life in Books

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone

Author Michael Chabon is the subject of “A Life in Books” in the April 6, 2009 issue of Newsweek. Chabon lists his “Five Most Important Books” along with a sentence explaining why each made the list. To read, please click here.

And, check out the the film version of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Chabon’s 1988 debut novel, now in theaters! You can view the trailer below: