Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter
Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives (Steven T. Katz and Alan Rosen, eds.), published by Indiana University Press in May, explores the various aspects of Wiesel’s multifacted career, including his texts on “the Bible, the Talmud, and Hasidism as well as his literary works, his teaching, and his testimony.” We asked Janet Rabinowitch, former director of IU Press, to share the backstory behind the painting on the book’s cover:
Artist Mark Podwal’s jacket painting depicts works by Elie Wiesel. The works illustrated, as described by Podwal, are, from left to right and row by row: One Generation After (a story about a watch belonging to EW that was buried in Sighet); The Oath (about a burned shtetl); The Jews of Silence (Russian Jewry); Souls on Fire (Rabbi Nachman’s chair); King Solomon and His Magic Ring (a pomegranate, based on one of Podwal’s illustrations for an edition of this work); Ani Maamin (a shofar, since one of the 10 reasons the shofar is sounded is that one day it will sound when the Messiah comes); A Beggar in Jerusalem; Night; Messengers of God (a Torah); The Golem (Prague’s Altneuschul); and A Passover Haggadah.. The original painting was commissioned by Chapman University as a gift to Elie Wiesel. It hangs framed in his home.
“Book Cover of the Week” posts here.
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi is the executive director of Jewish Book Council. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Prior to her role as executive director, Naomi served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. In addition, she has overseen JBC’s digital initiatives, and also developed the JBC’s Visiting Scribe series and Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.