Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book reviews from The Jewish Chronicle

Unspeakable Things: A novel
Kathleen Spivack
Knopf, 2016 | 304 pp. US$25.95
Unspeakable Things
A wild, erotic novel—a daring debut—from the author author of Flying Inland, A History of Yearning, and With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz, and Others. A strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler’s armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) “can do, will do” world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls—and us—to another realm of the senses.

Two Arabs, a Berber, and a Jew: Entangled Lives in Morocco
Lawrence Rosen
University Of Chicago Press, 2015 | 400 pp. US$27.50
Two Arabs, a Berber, and a Jew
In this work by seasoned scholar Lawrence Rosen, we follow the fascinating intellectual developments of four ordinary Moroccans over the span of forty years. Walking and talking with Haj Hamed Britel, Yaghnik Driss, Hussein Qadir, and Shimon Benizri—in a country that, in a little over a century, has gone from an underdeveloped colonial outpost to a modern Arab country in the throes of economic growth and religious fervor—Rosen details a fascinating plurality of viewpoints on culture, history, and the ways both can be dramatically transformed. 

No comments: