The Best Course of the Spring Semester? Jewish Literature Live!

Thanks to generosity of English Department alumnus David Bruce Smith, we will again be offering our Jewish Literature Live course in the spring semester (English 172.15). Students read novels by renowned writers of contemporary Jewish literature … and the authors come to the class to discuss their work. This class, offered by one of the most revered member sof our faculty, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Here is the official course description:

Thanks to donor David Bruce Smith, here’s an opportunity to speak directly with the authors whose books you will read in this unique course. We will read 7 or 8 works of Jewish literature, talk about them, write about them, formulate questions about them, and then the author of each book will come to campus  to have a conversation with the class.  Requirements: Response papers and written questions, final exam, attendance at 3 readings. Some of the established or emerging writers include: Rebecca Goldstein (Mazel), Myla Goldberg (Bee Season) Cynthia Ozick (Puttermesser Papers) and Peter Manceau (Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter). 

And here is an impressive list of the prizes that the writers who will be visiting the class have won:

Gabriel Brownstein

  • Finalist for the Koret Jewish Book Award (2002), for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W
  • PEN/Hemingway Award (2002), for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W The Man From Beyond was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 Historical Novels (2005) 

Myla Goldberg

  • Harold U. Ribalow Prize (2001), for Bee Season
  • NYPL Young Lions Award finalist (2001), for Bee Season
  • Hemingway Foundation/PEN Awarad finalist (2001), for Bee Season

Rebecca Goldstein

  • National Jewish Book Award (1995), for Mazel
  • Edward Lewis Walant Award (1995), for Mazel 
  • MacArthur Fellowship, colloquially know as “The Genius Award” (1996)
  • National Jewish Book Honor Award, for collection of short stories entitled Strange Attractors 
  • Koret International Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought (2006), for Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave Us Modernity 
  • Whiting Writer’s Award (1993), for The Dark Sister 
  • Guggenheim Fellowship and Radcliffe Fellowship (both 2006) 

Dara Horn

  • Harold U. Ribalow Prize (2007) for The World to Come 
  • National Jewish Book Award (2003) for In the Image and (2007) for The World to Come 
  • Edward Lewis Wallant Award (2002) for In the Image 
  • Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction (2003) In the Image  
  • Named to Forward’s 50 (2009), Media and Culture 

Howard Jacobson

  • Ballinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize (1999), for The Mighty Walzer 
  • The Man Booker Prize, longlisted (2002) for Who’s Sorry Now and (2006), for Kalooki Nights 
  • Jewish Quartley Literary Prize (2000), for The Mighty Walzer

Faye Moskowitz

  • PEN Syndicated Fiction Award (1993) and (1994)

Cynthia Ozick

  • Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (1996), for essay collection entitled “Fame and Folly” 
  • National Book Critics Circle Award (2001), for a collection of essays entitled Quarrel & Quandary 
  • National Book Award, finalist (1997) for Puttermesser Papers and “The Pagan Rabbi, and Other Stories” (1971) 
  • International IMPAC Dublin (1999) shortlisted for Puttermesser Papers 
  • National Jewish Book Award (1997), for Lifetime Achievement 
  • PEN/Nabokov Award (2008) 
  • PEN/Malamud Award (2008) 
  • The Man Booker International Prize (2005) shortlisted
  • Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Mildred and Harold Straus Living Award from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters

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