Collecting Israeli Comics

In Summer 2015 and 2017 I spent time in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine doing a number of things related to my work as Middle East Studies Librarian at the Michigan State University Libraries. One of my goals was collecting comics, to add to our international comic art collection, a vast and beautifully cataloged and cared-for … Continue reading Collecting Israeli Comics

Title Pick: A Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman

**WINNER OF THE 2017 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE**The award-winning and internationally acclaimed author of the To the End of the Land now gives us a searing short novel about the life of a stand-up comic, as revealed in the course of one evening’s performance. In the dance between comic and audience, with barbs flying back and forth, a … Continue reading Title Pick: A Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman

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

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

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

Review: The Language of Angels by Richard Michelson

A new illustrated children’s book tells the story of a Jewish boy who has no friends and whose parents won’t let him play with anyone, fearful that other children actually may talk to him. He doesn’t speak until he’s 4 years old, and when he does, it is in response to his father’s anger at his … Continue reading Review: The Language of Angels by Richard Michelson

Notes on a Return to the Ever-Dying Lands: Those Without Tombs in Memory Park

On poems by the disappeared Argentinean child Franca Jarach, and her mother’s recent statements to the German Chancellor. A video on YouTube went viral in Argentina a few weeks ago. It shows one of the May Plaza Mothers, Vera Jarach, coming to meet the visiting German chancellor in Memory Park (Parque de la Memoria). Merkel seems … Continue reading Notes on a Return to the Ever-Dying Lands: Those Without Tombs in Memory Park

Excerpt: Poets on the Edge: An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry

A SMALL ERROR IN THE MACHINE When the Nazis came they were quite polite. The father was a known figure, at least to them, the Italian mother was no problem, they only wished to verify a few minor details. That's all, according to protocol. They entered the flat, didn't even presume to sit down. However, … Continue reading Excerpt: Poets on the Edge: An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry

Hebrew Speculative Fiction in Translation

We may not have a ton of Hebrew speculative fiction in English translation (SFT) (or Hebrew sf at all), but what we do have shows the diverse and highly-imaginative ways in which Hebrew-language writers explore the complexities of ethnicity, religion, and the State of Israel. From horrifying dystopias to meditations on mysticism and fantasy literature, … Continue reading Hebrew Speculative Fiction in Translation