Family Feuds

The stories in Stuart Nadler’s new collection, The Book of Life, explore the inter-generational tensions of moody Jewish families burdened by memories, rifts, hopes, and deaths

On the Bookshelf

Yiddish is far from dead. It’s undead, and it haunts everything from Harvey Pekar’s comics to the vampire literature of the early 20th century.

On the Bookshelf

The term “post-Holocaust” raises conceptual problems, but a host of new books helps define it by exploring everything from Nazis on the run to Jews on the mend

Ordinary People

Two new books, The Druggist of Auschwitz and Reluctant Accomplice, offer true stories of average citizens’ divergent responses to Nazi rule. They help us examine our own rationalization of genocide.

Young at Heart

Ammiel Alcalay’s new book—a challenging collection of notes, photographs, and diary entries he wrote in the 1970s—shows the young scholar and experimental poet through the eyes of his older self

On the Bookshelf

Books on what makes Jews Jewish, from debates over conversion and consideration of kashrut laws to rethinking the Jewish body, with a cameo by Bob Saget

Coming of Age

And This Is the Light, the sole novel by the prolific Israeli writer Lea Goldberg, recently released in English, imagines adolescence and romance on the verge of World War II in Lithuania

On the Bookshelf

Running away: From Mossad-appointed time-travelers to daughters of famous novelists, these summer reads offer a healthy dose of escapism

Homecoming

Yuri Suhl’s One Foot in America, a long-lost novel of Jewish American immigration that reads like a more Dickensian take on Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, has been republished and deserves a new audience

Ballet Master

In the new biography René Blum and the Ballets Russes: In Search of Lost Life, the early 20th-century impresario—who died at Auschwitz and symbolizes the tragedy of French Jewry—remains a riddle

Love and Death

Long before the Supreme Court deemed violent video games free speech, the 1940s cultural critic Gershon Legman noted Americans’ paradoxical views on sex and violence

Of the Books

After Amazon started recommending Christian novels for me, I gathered a group of Jewish friends to explore them and discovered an unexpected reconnect with spirituality

By the Book

In The Bible Now, two scholars look for modern answers to pressing political questions—from gay marriage to capital punishment—in the Bible. The problem is that such an exercise is unnecessary.

On the Bookshelf

Playing music: Books on too-expensive concert tickets, the too-Jewish-sounding Simon and Garfunkel, and the just-Jewish-enough Louis Armstrong

Disorderly Conduct

The writer and critic Bernard Lazare, Dreyfus’ earliest defender, wed Zionism and anarchism to become one of France’s most famous polemicists and a political clairvoyant

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