Paper Brigade Volume Three
Featuring interviews with Keith Gessen, Chloe Benjamin, and Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, a Jewish literary map of Italy, Jane Yolen on Jewish fairy tales, and more.
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Table of Contents
The Jewish Women Writers Who Made Their Mark on Café Culture
Shachar M. Pinsker
Moses Mendelssohn & Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Bodies, Borders, and Desire
Frum Women in Film
Karen E. H. Skinazi
‘What Do You Think, Doc?’
Oh, Give Me a Home
‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, the Jewish YA Novel.’
Papa Stalin and the Happy Family
Michelle Markowitz & Caroline Moss
Pamela S. Nadell
Shemira and Prayer Wheels
Writing the Jewish Rust Belt
Allison Pitinii Davis
Point of Contact
Alicia Jo Rabins
The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt
Sara Berman’s Closet
Maira Kalman & Alex Kalman
Artisans of Israel
All-of-a-Kind, Then & Now
Joe Krush & Paul O. Zelinsky with Nancy Bea Miller
Emily Bowen Cohen
Jewish Heritage of the Deccan
Our Lady of Kazan
Maya Arad, translated by Jessica Cohen
Spies of No Country
The Hotel Neversink
Adam O’Fallon Price
Thoughts on the Roths and Their Kaddish
The World of Jewish Italian Literature
Minna Zallman Proctor
A Jewish Literary Map of Italy
Sara Yael Hirschhorn
To Our Readers
JBC by the Numbers
Programs & Publications
Index of Book Reviews
JBC Network Authors
JBC Network Communities
2017 National Jewish Book Awards
2018 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature
Note from the Editor
Literature is often called a mirror of society; this year, we are reminded more than ever of the importance of the written word in helping us to reflect on worldwide events.
Large-scale issues can feel abstract and overwhelming, but reading about one character’s personal struggle can make these issues immediately relatable. Fittingly, novelists are increasingly engaging with some of the more pressing challenges we face today. Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen and German writer Jenny Erpenbeck take on the ongoing immigration crises in their respective countries. Keith Gessen depicts the complex reality of life in Russia, while Gary Shteyngart turns his eye to the stratified state of America. An article by Ranen Omer- Sherman discusses three recent novels that probe the fraught nature of relationships between queer Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Another theme that emerges here is the presence of Jews in spaces— both geographic and literary — not traditionally associated with them. An excerpt from Adam O’Fallon Price’s forthcoming The Hotel Neversink offers a Jewish spin on Gothic fiction. In “Fracture,” Jane Yolen reflects on retelling classic fairy tales to depict pogroms and the Holocaust. And three pieces — an article, a comic, and a personal essay combined with poetry — offer insights into the lives of Jews in America’s rural heartland.
Other writers bring new perspectives to an age-old theme: motherhood and women’s place in society — whether that society is Israeli (as in a newly translated excerpt from Maya Arad’s Our Lady of Kazan, winner of the Paper Brigade Award for New Israeli Fiction in Honor of Jane Weitzman) or Orthodox (as in Karen E. H. Skinazi’s article, “Frum Women in Film”). Pamela S. Nadell describes America’s first Jewish women’s book club, founded in 1879; Shachar M. Pinsker highlights the influential women of literary café culture.
We hope that in the mix of articles, interviews, artwork, and more you’ll find much that stimulates and informs — and also delights. This, too, (lest we forget) is one of literature’s most important roles. Happy reading!
— Carol Kaufman, Executive Editor