Rabbis will tell you there are no Jewish ghosts. Just like heaven, the concept of ghosts cannot be found in the Torah (the Jewish Bible). Gentiles have the Holy Ghost, but not Judaism. Christianity and Judaism have less in common than many Americans would like to believe. But in Jewish culture—ghosts abound. This is especially in the writings of the great Yiddish Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. Ghosts, imps, demons, the spirits of the departed and such inhabit the world of his fiction. Who knows, he might be right? During this High Holiday season, it is good to be reminded of those departed whose spirits still live within us. These glimpses of Singer offer a pleasant reminder of his humanistic joy. And if decides to come back and haunt us, like Casper, he will be a friendly ghost.
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Earlier this month, award-winning author Neil Gaiman contributed a short story, to Harper Perennial’s recent Fifty-Two Stories experiment, Neil Gaiman contributed a short story, The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains. Last week, he read the story for the first time at Australia’s Sydney Opera House. Here are a few highlights, via The Sydney Morning Herald.
Note: Contains spoilers.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the simple joy of reading a book. But author & illustrator Lane Smith’s latest picture book, the aptly titled It’s a Book is a delightful reminder for all ages. Keep an eye out for It’s A Book later this month, and is definitely worth the trip to the bookstore.
The promo trailer for Gary Shteyngart’s new novel Super Sad True Love Story features an interesting cast that includes actor James Franco as well as literary notables Edmund White, Mary Gaitskill, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jay McInerney. The Russian Jewish immigrant has the famous guest stars humorously point out Shteyngart’s failings and general ignorance. What it has to do with the book is never clear, but hey, he comes off a as a fun guy who just wants to win readers through his associations with others. This makes more sense than a book blurb these days, and is more fun to watch.