Tag: Israel

An Israeli actor prepares

Israeli actor Amitai Kedar visited family in Toronto last week before beginning an 11-week North American road tour of the popular Gershwin musical My One and Only, in which he plays a Russian impresario, Prince Nikolai. Born in Toronto in 1969, Kedar grew up in Israel where he graduated from Tel Aviv University’s School of…

Grace Paley, Ariel Dorfman, Thomas Keneally at IFOA

Numerous writers of special interest to the Jewish community appeared recently at the Harbourfront International Festival of Authors, Toronto’s pre-eminent literary event. Their presence insured that Jewish themes were well represented. American Jewish writer Grace Paley, interviewed publicly by Toronto newspaper columnist David Lewis Stein, spoke engagingly about art and politics, the two activities to…

Bestseller based on ancient menorah

The massive golden menorah from the Holy Temple of Jerusalem is the coveted object that fuels the modern-day action-adventure in Saskatchewan-born author David Gibbins’s second novel Crusader Gold, published this year by Headline Press of Britain and available under that imprint in Canada. Gibbins, who appeared at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto in…

Talking politics with A. B. Yehoshua

Like a latter-day prophet of Israel, the distinguished Jerusalem-born novelist A.B. Yehoshua utters a variety of lamentations — mostly of a political nature — and explains that “it is the task of the intellectual to say what he thinks.” His biggest lament seems centered around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he accuses of poisoning…

Nathan Shaham’s Rosendorf Quartet

Israeli author Nathan Shaham, who gave separate English and Hebrew readings from his 1987 novel The Rosendorf Quartet in Toronto recently, is amazed that the book has become a bestseller, won prestigious literary prizes, and been translated into several languages, including Chinese and Russian. “I never tried to have this book published abroad,” said the…

Biblical novel set in 1st century

Andrew Sanders, a resident of both Toronto and Haifa, is the author of a new work of historical fiction, Hanina My Son: A Novel of the First Century (Gefen, 2001), which has already appeared in Israel in Hebrew translation. Hanina My Son is set during a time of fighting between the Pharisees and Sadducees, the…

Edeet Ravel’s Ten Thousand Lovers

Montreal resident Edeet Ravel admits that she’s been fairly negligent until recently about getting her writing into print. A teacher at a Montreal-area high school until last year, the Israeli-born author expresses amazement that the British publisher Headline found her letter on its slushpile of unsolicited manuscripts and was interested enough to ask to see…

Troupe of Israeli characters trapped in low farce

Set in modern Israel, Orly Castel-Bloom’s latest novel Human Parts (translation by Dalyu Bilu, Key Porter Books) follows a troupe of characters around their ordinary lives as the nation struggles with an assortment of blights and curses that almost seem like divine punishments. In Castel-Bloom’s version of Israel, as in real life, there’s a grueling…

Appelfeld’s ‘Age of Wonders’

Addressing the question “Is it possible to write fiction about the Holocaust?”, Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld told a large gathering in Toronto recently that man’s nature compels him “to express not only his joy but also his pain” and that concentration camp inmates sometimes sang songs that “were as mighty as the suffering from which…