Blog Archive: Recent Reviews


short story

Some Jewish Short Stories for Short Story Month

May 17, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

Maybe you already know that April is National Poetry Month. That tradition is relatively well established and recognized. But did you know that May brings another reason for literary celebration? That May has been designated Short Story Month (SSM)? 

No? Read on.

Another Way to Honor Author Edward Lewis Wallant

May 10, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

A new way to honor Edward Lewis Wallant here on the FTB site.

More from Maggie Anton

Apr 5, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

Maggie Anton is familiar to many readers as the author of the popular trilogy Rashi’s Daughters, the first installment of which, Joheved, is the subject of Adina Bernstein’s analysis in the latest installment of our “freelance review” project. What we did not realize when we made this assignment was that the author had a new project in the works. And it’s something!

Women’s History Month and Fig Tree Books

Mar 8, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

As you may have been reminded already, March is National Women’s History Month. It’s a good time to remind ourselves of the achievements and contributions of some of our favorite American Jewish women writers—especially on this March day, which is also International Women’s Day.

The Lasting Popularity of Steve Stern

Mar 1, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

Steve Stern is a popular guy around FTB. Just about a year ago, freelancer Rachel Unkefer wrote here about one of his novels, The Angel of Forgetfulness. We noted then that we were partial to his writing—including his praise for Jonathan Papernick’s The Book of StoneStern described the novel as “a psychological thriller with a complex soul. In the tradition of writers like Robert Stone and Ian McEwan, Papernick describes the quest to save oneself by redeeming history, and the perilous consequences that arise from confusing the two tasks. It’s a harrowing, distinguished book.”

Grace Paley’s Narratives: “Beyond Evergreen”

Feb 2, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

“Grace Paley’s short-story collection Later the Same Day (1985) is that rarity: a literary work that, 30 years after publication, feels more modern than ever. Paley, who passed away in 2007, was acclaimed in her lifetime, but it’s tempting to think that these days, she’d be lionized—as a feminist who doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks of her choices, a socialist, an activist. Paley’s era-specific, voice-driven narratives turn out to be something beyond evergreen.”

A New Review for the New Year

Jan 5, 2016

By Erika Dreifus

Welcome to our first blog post for 2016. We’ve got a real treat for you today: the latest contribution to our ongoing discussions of major works of American Jewish fiction (that we didn’t happen to publish!). Up now: a review of Philip Roth’s Everyman.

Looking Back on a Resonant Ribalow Winner

Dec 1, 2015

By Erika Dreifus

At a ceremony taking place later today, author Molly Antopol will be awarded the 2015 Harold U. Ribalow Prize for Jewish fiction from Hadassah Magazine. Which means that it was about one year ago that I attended the event celebrating the 2014 awardee, Helene Wecker, and her winning novel, The Golem and the Jinni.

Today’s Ribalow Award ceremony also makes the latest addition to our collection of writings on major works of American Jewish literature especially well-timed.

The Dazzling Dara Horn

Nov 3, 2015

By Erika Dreifus

“At age 15, Dara Horn was learned and eloquent beyond her years.” So begins the latest in our series of new looks at important works of American Jewish literature: Elizabeth (Liz) Edelglass’s discussion of A Guide for the Perplexed, a 2013 novel by Dara Horn. Liz goes on to note that a couple of decades later, this author’s talents are no less impressive.

Remembering Henry Roth

Oct 6, 2015

By Erika Dreifus

Next week will mark the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Henry Roth. As The New York Times noted shortly after Roth’s death on October 13, 1995, Roth was a novelist “known for his masterpiece ‘Call It Sleep,’ an exact, unsparing portrait of the lives of poor Jewish immigrants in New York City in the early decades of this century, and then for experiencing perhaps the most mysterious career in modern American letters.”