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The New Yiderati: Redefining the Jewish Experience in Literature

Wednesday, March 21 , 2012 at 7:00pm

Michelle Haimoff (_These Days Are Ours_), Sharon Pomerantz (_Rich Boy_), Joanna Smith Rakoff (_A Fortunate Age_), and Adam Wilson (_Flatscreen_), Jeffery Oliver (_Failure to Thrive_), with moderator Jason Diamond (Flavorpill, Vol 1 Brooklyn). Sponsored by the Jewish Book Council and Vol 1. Brooklyn.

Michelle Haimoff’s paperback original These Days Are Ours (Grand Central Publishing) is a sensitive and witty coming of age story that focuses on a directionless college grad as she returns to live with her wealthy New York City family just six months after 9/11.

In Jeff Oliver‘s debut novel Failure to Thrive, Canadian reality TV producer Jonathan Farb finds out that he may be dying of a brain tumor on the same day that he catches his wife having an affair with her obstetrician and he makes a pledge: to raise his five month-old son Elliot to manhood before his time is up. Farb’s list of parenting goals range from instilling a religious identification (can a baby be Bar Mitzvahed?), to the importance of Education (The Birds & The Bees), and onto more pressing pursuits like amassing capital for his son’s inheritance.

“A Fortunate Age, Joanna Smith Rakoff‘s sweeping debut novel about 20-something Oberlin grads living in New York City, may turn out to be the long-awaited book that perfectly captures the ’90s, that time of social and financial excess that set the stage for the current economic collapse.”
— Laurel Maury for NPR.org

Ten years in the making, Sharon Pomerantz’s Rich Boy is a sweeping novel of class, sexual rebellion, money and love. A tapestry that interweaves the lives of poor and middle class, middle class and supremely wealthy, Rich Boy shows us four decades in an American century through the eyes of one ceaseless dreamer. It’s a book that looks fearlessly at both our desire to remake ourselves, and the price we pay for the privilege.

In Flatscreen, indie-lit star and Faster Times editor Adam Wilson delivers the gleefully absurd, effortlessly heartwarming story of one young man’s struggle to shake off the listless, sexless, stoned mantle of suburban teenage life and become something better. Fortunately (maybe) for Eli, his apathetic quest finds a catalyzing agent in one Mr. Seymour J. Kahn, a paraplegic sex addict and two-bit silver screen star who initiates a mad decent into debasement and (of course) YouTube stardom—a transformation from which there will be no going back.

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