Wednesday, January 27th 2021   |

Books

Herman Wouk, legendary author who brought Judaism into the mainstream, dies at 103

By RACHEL GORDAN

BOSTON (JTA) — Herman Wouk, the bestselling Orthodox Jewish author whose literary career spanned nearly seven decades and who helped usher Judaism into the American mainstream, died Friday at the age of 103.

His agent confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

Wouk was the author of two dozen novels and works of nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Caine Mutiny” from 1951, which was a fixture on...

Amos Oz, a ‘saintly intellectual’ who turned Israel’s national reality into art

By ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL

(JTA) — Amos Oz would often speak in the kind of tossed-off epigrams that come only with a lot of practice. But just when you wanted to smack him for his breezy erudition, he would redeem himself with a flash of spot-on — and hilarious — self-awareness.

In 2011, speaking at the 92nd Street Y about the novel he’d just published in English, “Scenes From Village Life,”...

Alice Walker endorses anti-Semitic tract in a New York Times feature

By SAM SOKOL

(JTA) — Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Alice Walker has come under intense criticism after endorsing a book by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke.

In an interview with The New York Times Book Review, Walker — who is best known for her book “The Color Purple,” detailing the hardships of African-American women in the early part of the twentieth century — responded to a question about what she was currently reading...

OP-ED: Stan Lee gave comic books permission to be more Jewish

By ARIE KAPLAN

(JTA) — When Stan Lee died on Nov. 12 at 95, he left behind a vast legacy. Between 1961 and 1969, his greatest sustained burst of creative activity, he co-created a vast array of iconic characters, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Daredevil, Nick Fury, Doctor Strange and Falcon.

Lee raised the bar for superhero storytelling....

In J.K. Rowling’s new novel, a villain is an Israel-hating anti-Semite

By YVETTE ALT MILLER

(JTA) — For months author J.K. Rowling has been warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism in England, sparring on Twitter with critics who either downplay the phenomenon or say its proponents are confusing criticism of Israel with Jew hatred.

Now, in her newest book, she includes a character whose obsessive anti-Zionism morphs into anti-Semitism.

“Lethal White,” the fourth series in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series, written...

‘Israel Bible’: Tanakh connects text to the land of Israel

Reviwed by JASON GAINES, Ph.D.,

“The Israel Bible“edited by Rabbi Tuly Weisz. Jerusalem: Menorah Books, 2018. 2190 p.

“The Israel Bible” advertises itself as the first Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible, “to highlight the special connection between the Land and the People of Israel.” It succeeds in this goal, with commentary and illustrations that call helpful attention to the interdependence between the Jewish people, their sacred texts, and Israel both ancient...

Philip Roth, enfant terrible turned peerless chronicler of American Jewish life, is dead at 85

 

(JTA) — Philip Roth, whose notorious novels about the sex drives of American men gave way to some of the most probing examinations of the American Jewish condition in the 20th and 21st centuries, has died.

He was 85. His death was confirmed to The New York Times by his friend, Judith Thurman.

Early in his career, Roth drew outrage with sometimes stinging depictions of Jewish life, as well...

Store that sells ‘P is for Palestine’ children’s book faces more heat — from the left

By BEN SALES

NEW YORK (JTA) — Book Culture, a chain of independent New York City bookstores, just can’t win.

First it promoted a children’s book about Palestine that praised intifada. That angered members of the Jewish community, so Book Culture apologized, condemned violence against Israelis and declared its support for Israel’s right to exist.

Now the apology has angered pro-Palestinian activists, who are pledging to boycott Book Culture unless it...

‘Lioness’ author Frances Klagsbrun receives Jewish Book of the Year Award

Author Frances Klagsbrun, who spoke at the Uptown Jewish Community last night, got good news in addition to a nice New Orleans audience to welcome her. Her book “Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel” was just selected this morning as the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year by the Jewish Book Council (JBC).

The award is considered the most prestigious in the field of Jewish literature...

Eight books for Chanukah — or anytime

By VICTOR WISHNA

(JTA) — When Chanukah comes, it hangs around for more than a week. That means plenty of gifts to give, as well as ample time for procrastinators.

For your favorite Person of the Book, you can’t go too wrong with giving, uh, a book. We have eight of them here, from the culinary to the cartoonish (in a good way), with a few gripping novels and too-crazy-not-to-be-true...