Publisher Spotlight: Chin Music Press

Bruce Rutledge and Yuko Enomoto founded Chin Music Press in 2002 while living in Tokyo. At the time, media conglomerates were swallowing up publishing companies, greatly reducing the opportunities for risky books to get into print. The time was ripe for small presses to fill the gap, especially with contemporary and edgy literature from Japan. … Continue reading Publisher Spotlight: Chin Music Press

Excerpt: Lives of the Dead by Hanoch Levin

At Night I Weep With Longing At night I weep with longing For all that I’ve no eyes to weep with – Think – but have no brain to think  – About the city lights, the time we laughed. If only you knew, if only you knew My wife, my soul’s passion, How I will … Continue reading Excerpt: Lives of the Dead by Hanoch Levin

USBBY Outstanding International Book Pick: The Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits by Ulf Stark

It's summer in the big forest and the rabbit children are looking forward to their first Midsummer party. Owl, who knows everything, says Midsummer is a time for dancing, love and magic. What a fun time they will have! Then a terrible storm sweeps through the forest and the woodland animals must find shelter at … Continue reading USBBY Outstanding International Book Pick: The Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits by Ulf Stark

Buried Yiddish Treasures in Lithuania

The past seems to bubble up to the surface more frequently and picturesquely in Lithuania than in other places. The country is famous for its deposits of amber, fossilized tree resin. These golden nuggets are brought up from deep underground, sometimes containing bits of long-dead insects and plants. Lithuania is also the burial ground of … Continue reading Buried Yiddish Treasures in Lithuania

Title Pick: Isra Isle by Nava Semel

This novel is inspired by a true historical event. Before Theodore Herzl there was Mordecai Manuel Noah, an American journalist, diplomat, playwright, and visionary. In September 1825 he bought Grand Island, downriver from Niagara Falls, from the local Native Americans as a place of refuge for the Jewish people and called it “Ararat.” But no … Continue reading Title Pick: Isra Isle by Nava Semel

Even Higher: Three Yiddish Retellings for Children

Growing up, I knew very little about Yiddish literature with the exception of The Wise Men of Chelm. My elementary school librarian read us the tales of the people so wise they tried to repopulate a river with canned herring. In middle school, I played Dorothy in the Solomon Schechter production of the Wizard of … Continue reading Even Higher: Three Yiddish Retellings for Children

Isaac Babel’s Ghost Was Not on the Guest List

Pain, Euphoria, Utopia at a Polish-Ukrainian literature festival in Amsterdam By Arturo Desimone “I’m thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left, In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom, To jeers of “Kill the Jews, and save our Russia!” My mother’s being beaten by a clerk. O, Russia of my heart, I … Continue reading Isaac Babel’s Ghost Was Not on the Guest List

Publisher Spotlight: Hoopoe

Hoopoe is a new imprint for engaged, open-minded readers hungry for outstanding fiction that challenges headlines, re-imagines histories, and celebrates original storytelling. We’re seeking fresh writing from Marrakesh to Baghdad and Khartoum to Aleppo for adventurous readers everywhere. From historical epics, social satire, police procedurals and stories of the future Middle East: we will publish … Continue reading Publisher Spotlight: Hoopoe

USBBY Outstanding International Book Pick: Don’t Cross the Line by Isabel Minhós Martins

In Don’t Cross the Line, The guard always follows the general’s orders without question. This time, the order is that no one must cross the line. The right-hand page of this book must be kept blank for the general. As the crowd builds up on the border, the guard is under pressure. If no one is … Continue reading USBBY Outstanding International Book Pick: Don’t Cross the Line by Isabel Minhós Martins

Excerpt: Late Beauty by Tuvia Ruebner

I believe that this poem may be read without notes, but nonetheless I’ve provided a brief historical one below. “Postcard from the Hebron Area” was written at the end of the 20th century in Hebrew by Israeli poet Tuvia Ruebner, who was born in Slovakia in 1924, and escaped to Mandatory Palestine in 1941, managing … Continue reading Excerpt: Late Beauty by Tuvia Ruebner