I have just published some short reviews of feamle Jewish graphic literature writers. Check them out on my book blog, Writing About Reading.
The posts are about Rutu Modan’s The Property, her latest novel, Exit Wounds, her first full-length work and a collection of short pieces, Jamiliti and Other Stories, and one post about Vanessa Davis’ wonderfully titled Make Me a Woman. They all have a lot to say about Jewish identity and growing up Jewish, although that is far from their sole purpose. Modan is an Israeli, and Davis was born in Florida. Both writers I will be watching out for in the future.
The House of Twenty Thousand Books is journalist Sasha Abramsky’s elegy to the vanished intellectual world of his grandparents, Chimen and Miriam, and their vast library of socialist literature and Jewish history. A rare book dealer and self-educated polymath who would go on to teach at Oxford and consult for Sotheby’s, Chimen Abramsky drew great writers and thinkers like Isaiah Berlin and Eric Hobsbawm to his north London home; his library grew from his abiding passion for books and his search for an enduring ideology. The books, documents, and manuscripts that covered every shelf at 5 Hillway were testaments to Chimen’s quest — from the Jewish orthodoxy of his boyhood, to the Communism of his youth, to the liberalism of his mature years. The House of Twenty Thousand Books is at once the story of a fascinating family and chronicle of the embattled twentieth century.
Sasha Abramsky is the author of Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House, and has reported on U.S. prisons for Human Rights Watch. He lives in Sacramento, California.
Jeremy Solomons is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Reading, U.K., and Scholar in Residence at the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University, U.S.A. His topic is Post World War 2 Anglo-Jewish drama. He has studied theatre with Augusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed) and Keith Johnstone (Impro). After 15 years working full-time in professional theatre on the production side, he founded youth theatres in England writing and directing over 20 productions. Since then he has been a bookstore manager, taught writing, literature, and drama at colleges, in the U.K. and New England, where he lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and they have two college age sons.
These days, alongside doing research, he teaches, writes and helps people with web, written, and spoken communication using his drama and improvisation experience and does project management for various organizations and businesses.
My mission (and I thought about whether I mean that word or not, and I do) in the coming months is to really dig into what the arts and humanities contribute to the everyday and the exceptional actions we all take as we live our lives. In other words, what roles do the arts and humanities have outside the spaces that are designed to teach and present them? Outside the galleries, theatres, classrooms beyond the pages of a book or the screens of television and film.
This week my friend Miranda Colmans presented the argument for the economic importance of the arts as they are presented for themselves, but what does someone with arts experience, someone with a humanities degree contribute to the wider world? To me it is that beyond the PHYSICAL and the FISCAL in our daily lives there is imagination and empathy, which I believe leads to…
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This is a show about love that has been made with love. A few years back,Danny Braverman‘s mother gave him some shoeboxes that had belonged to his great uncle Ab Solomons. Inside the boxes were hundreds of wage packets with doodles that shoemaker Ab had drawn on them.
Every Thursday – from 1926, when they married, to 1982, when she died – Ab would give his wife, Celie, one of these wage packets with the housekeeping. They are an eloquent portrait of love and of a marriage through its ups and downs. There is even one in which Ab seems to be trying to persuade his wife away from the divorce court. Read more…
Mick Heaney, son of Seamus, writes about writing about dying. Referencing many favourites.
In his book Without Feathers Woody Allen has a line that has become one of his most famous quips: “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Like all the best humour, the joke is accompanied by a sense of recognition.
It is almost an article of faith for people to say that, far from fearing death, they are reconciled to it. But Allen’s joke hits on an uncomfortable truth. Read more…
Check this out.
This website accompanies our free exhibition Out Of Chaos; Ben Uri: 100 Years in London in the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House in association with the Cultural Institute at King’s College London.
Dates: 2 July – 13 December 2015
Venue: Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS.
Opening Times: Mon-Sun (excluding Thursday): 12pm-6pm / Thurs: 12pm-8.30pm
Cost of entry: Free
Location: King’s College London, Somerset House East Wing, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
Access: Located on the lower ground floor of Somerset House East Wing, the Inigo Rooms are accessible via the King’s College Quad or from the Somerset House Courtyard, through the East Wing middle door entrance. Google Map / Street Map
About the Exhibition
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund this exhibition showcases a group of rarely seen masterworks by mainly Jewish émigré artists from the Ben Uri collection, including works by the first Jewish Royal Academician, Solomon Hart, Mark Gertler, David Bomberg, First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg, Jacob Epstein, Max Liebermann, Josef Herman, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and R B Kitaj. More…