Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Lillian Hellman: Always new again

The Guthrie Theater presents the anti-fascist classic Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The Guthrie Theater has, either through accident or design, discovered the joys of Jewish women who wrote plays. This past season the produced The Royal Family, co-authored by the underrated Edna Ferber, a Jewish novelist […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Dorit Rabinyan: ‘A curse, then a blessing, then a curse’

Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan discusses being at the center of a national controversy by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan, who will be in Minneapolis Oct. 23, found herself in a storm of controversy with her 2014 book Gader Haya, which has been published in English as Borderlife and as All the […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Barton Fink has a case of writer’s block

“I’m having a little trouble getting started,” explains Barton Fink (John Turturro) to Hollywood film studio exec Ben Geisler (Tony Shalhoub). It turns out that Fink, a Broadway playwright transported to La La Land, in the 1940s, to write scripts for B-movies, has writer’s block. Then his life goes topsy turvy. Barton Fink, the award-winning […]

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

An unexpected ending from Nathan Englander

Dinner at the Center of the Earth, by Nathan Englander, Knopf, 252 pages, $26.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Nathan Englander again demonstrates his imaginative ability to turn seemingly straightforward stories into unexpected endings. Englander, author of the hit For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, appears on his new novel’s jacket without the tsunami of hair […]

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Elijah and the Palestinians

Craig Harris creates a show that looks at the past and present of Israel through the story of Elijah by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor Composer, designer, performer and writer Craig Harris is telling a story of Israel. Properly, he’s telling a pair of stories, one about the prophet Elijah, one about the modern state […]

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Peres: Optimism, not naiveté

No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel, by Shimon Peres, Custom House Books, 227 pages, $27.99 hardcover Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER With the title of his autobiography, Shimon Peres dismisses those who’ve derided him for decades as a dreamer. Peres arrived from Poland in 1934, an 11-year-old dreaming of […]

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s new season

The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company looks at politics, literature and dry cleaning by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company has announced their 2017-2018 season, which started this past month with Via Dolorosa, a play by David Hare exploring his experiences visiting Israel. The season will continue with Church & State (Oct. […]

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Everything’s coming up Jewish at The Heights

The Heights movie theater offers an accidental Jewish film festival by MAX SPARBER Community News Editor The Jewish influence on film is pervasive, a case comprehensively made by critic Neal Gabler in his 1989 book An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. One delightful side-effect of this fact is that a theater […]

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Ilana Kurshan: A delightful surprise

If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir, by Ilana Kurshan, St. Martin’s, 299 pages, $26.99 hardcover Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER If, like me, you first think that a book about a young divorcee studying a page of Talmud a day would be a bore, I have a surprise for you. To my astonishment, most […]

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Local Jewish book readings

Gabrielle Zevin, author of Young Jane Young, (recently reviewed by Neal Gendler) has two readings scheduled in Minnesota. The readings are as follows: Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water Street, Excelsior Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at Valley Bookseller, 217 Main Street North, Stillwater. The Minnesota Historical Society […]