Post­ed by Nao­mi Firestone-Teeter

Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture is deep into a renais­sance. Jew­ish books and Jew­ish authors are no longer eth­nic tokens on a larg­er book­shelf, but are estab­lish­ing them­selves in their own right, from the crit­i­cal suc­cess of The Yid­dish Policemen’s Union to the already-canon­i­cal Every­thing Is Illu­mi­nat­ed. Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish authors are telling new and mind­blow­ing sto­ries, earn­ing praise from crit­ics and read­ers — both among Jew­ish and gen­er­al audi­ences — and break­ing down the walls of what con­sti­tutes a Jew­ish book.”

MyJew­ish­Learn­ing and the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil would like to intro­duce you to some of these authors.

Every oth­er week, we’ll be bring­ing you voic­es from the new Jew­ish lit­er­ary scene. They’ll be as diverse as the term itself: fic­tion and non­fic­tion, death­ly fun­ny and death­ly seri­ous, pol­i­tics and music, poet­ry and pirates. Some writ­ers will share per­son­al sto­ries about writ­ing their books. Oth­ers will share B‑sides and DVD-style extras. Still oth­ers might blog about their lives, or cur­rent events, or the awe­some stage-dive they took at the con­cert last night.

The only things that our guest blog­gers have in com­mon are that they all take the idea of Judaism in their own direc­tion, and they all spark the dyna­mite of our imaginations.

We hope you’ll agree with us.

We’re hon­ored to start the series off with David Plotz, a jour­nal­ist and the edi­tor of Slate mag­a­zine. Recent­ly, he set him­self upon a not insur­mount­able task: to read, from first to last page, the entire Bible. His quest is chron­i­cled in a new book – called, appro­pri­ate­ly enough, Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilar­i­ous, Dis­turb­ing, Mar­velous, and Inspir­ing Things I Learned When I Read Every Sin­gle Word of the Bible. It’s part mem­oir, part tex­tu­al exe­ge­sis, and – like the orig­i­nal Jew­ish lit­er­ary crit­i­cism of bib­li­cal and tal­mu­dic com­men­taries – part­ly its own orig­i­nal vault of wisdom.

So come back all week, and check out Mr. Plotz’s blogs. Let him know what you think in the com­ments section…or just come back tomorrow.

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.