The Freewheeling Jonathan Lethem

by Pam Black   A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem’s tenth and most recent novel (2016), is a romp of a read, laden with lush language, cynical wit, and bizarre twists. It follows Alexander Bruno, a jaded, 50-ish backgammon ace and ladies’ man, to secret, international, high-stakes gambling parlors, where he fleeces the rich with his superior gaming […]

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“Where Are Your Guns?” A Story by Howard Fast

From the July 1948 issue of Jewish Currents (then Jewish Life), reprinted from our Sid Resnick Archive. To see a scanned copy of the article as originally published, click here. WHERE ARE YOUR GUNS? by Howard Fast IN THE LAND of the goyim, my father traded with the Indians. We traded for beaver, and my father’s word was as good as his bond, […]

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The Uncivil Servant: London Alexanderplatz

by Mitchell Abidor   Discussed in this essay: Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, translated by Michael Hofmann. NYRB Classics, 2018, 458 pages.   ALFRED DOBLIN’S Berlin Alexanderplatz, originally published in 1929,  achieved its greatest fame in the English-speaking world in 1983 when Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s version, made for German TV, was released here. That was also […]

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Chaver Paver

Yiddish writer Gershon Einbinder, who used the pen name Chaver Paver, was born in what is now Ukraine on this date in 1901. He fled pogroms by emigrating to Romania in 1921 and to New York in 1923, where he published his first two volumes of children’s stories, Mayselekh fun Khaver Paver. Chaver Paver worked as a teacher and curriculum-writer in the leftwing Yiddish […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Full Disclosure, She Wrote a Note to My Son

THE WONDERFUL WORK OF MAIRA KALMAN by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2017; Max Makes a Million by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2017; Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2018; Max in Hollywood, Baby by Maira Kalman, […]

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In Memoriam: Julius Lester

by Bennett Muraskin   JULIUS LESTER  (January 29, 1939-January 18, 2018) embodied the historic Black-Jewish bond in America, as well as Black-Jewish tensions, in his work as a prolific writer, folk musician, folklorist, and public intellectual — and in the very fabric of his identity. The son of a Black minister, he grew up in the upper South, graduated  […]

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Zemirovsky’s Flight from the Juif

ASSIMILATION AND DISSIMULATION by Zelda Gamson Discussed in this essay: The Nemirovsky Question: The Life, Death and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th-Century France, by Susan Rubin Suleiman. Yale University Press, 2016, 376 pages. from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   THE LIFE could have made a good novel, and she might even have […]

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Isaac Asimov

The great science fiction writer, biochemist, and humanist Isaac Asimov was born on this day in 1920. His family emigrated from the USSR to Brooklyn when he was three, and he grew up literate in both Yiddish and English. Asimov wrote or edited some 500 books — in nine out of ten of the major […]

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