Paper Brigade Volume Four
Featuring interviews with Natasha Díaz, André Aciman, T Kira Madden, and Dani Shapiro, a Jewish literary map of Egypt, an annotated reading list on friendship by Lauren Mechling, and more.
Scroll down to view the complete table of contents and editor’s note. At checkout, you will be given the option to a add an electronic gift note to this order.
*Join us on December 2nd for a virtual launch party! Click here to learn more and register.*
Table of Contents
‘I Am a Bombay on the Move’
Taking the Road
Losing Our Religion
Searching for the Jewish Sherlock
Louisa May Alcott and the Jews of Little Women
History on a Cocktail Napkin
Michael David Lukas
Magic, Memory, and Mass Murder
Rabbis, Detectives, and Twenty-Nine Witches
The Silent Toilers Are No Longer Silent
The Return of Crypto-Jews
Jews, Money, and Literature
Mortality Faced You as a Question
Blood Libel and the Written Word
Jacques and Jacqueline Groag
Kvetchers in the Rye
Rabbits, Tigers, and Colored Pencils
Beyond the Shadows
Judy Glickman Lauder
A Brief Note on Artemisia Gentileschi’s Esther
Audacities of Color
LaNitra M. Berger
The Little Bottles
Yoysef Kerler, translated by Maia Evrona
Shimon Adaf, translated by Philip Simpson
The World Stops at the Edge of the Word
Yonit Naaman, translated by Ayelet Tsabari
To Our Readers
Programs & Publications
Index of Book Reviews
2019/2020 Network Authors
JBC Network Communities
2018 National Jewish Book Awards
2019 National Jewish Book Awards
Natan Notable Books
Note from the Editor
There are a multitude of Jewish experiences,” Natasha Díaz observes in this issue of Paper Brigade. This sentiment, which has been deeply underscored in the past year, also speaks to the essence of our journal.
In these pages, we aim to highlight the diversity of Jewish lives and books. Díaz discusses the complexity of racial and religious identity, which is also reflected in her debut YA novel. Poet Diane Mehta describes carving out a place for her own spirituality after struggling to reconcile the Jewish and Jain traditions of her parents. Other authors reflect on scientific advances that have made our concept of heritage more nuanced — the results of DNA tests underpin memoirs by Dani Shapiro and T Kira Madden as well as a new wave of literature reclaiming the legacy of crypto-Jews.
While many Jewish experiences have only recently been acknowledged, they have always existed. Today, many writers are bringing marginalized figures of the past into the canon. Sarah Blake reimagines the story of Noah’s ark as a queer narrative, and an excerpt from Stefan Hertmans’s novel The Convert details the struggles of an actual eleventh-century woman who converted to Judaism. LaNitra M. Berger explores a morally complex chapter of Jewish history through the apartheid-era paintings of Irma Stern.
This year, many of us have felt isolated. Books show us that we’re not alone — in fact, they can bring us together on an ever-widening scale. One need look no further than an excerpt from Michael Zapata’s debut novel, in which two boys of different backgrounds bond over their shared love of a work of science fiction. As Boris Fishman notes in an interview, “Kinship can come from shared ideas and feelings, not just from shared experience.” I hope you’ll find your own sense of kinship in the following pages.
—Becca Kantor, Editorial Director