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2011 Twin Cities Jewish Book Fair author events

The literary arts have the to inform and engage us, subtly and deeply and give meaning to our shared experiences.

The 2011 Jewish Book Fair poster

Committed to this belief, the St. Paul Jewish Community Center (JCC) has been spearheading a power-packed literary festival for over 40 years — a festival which has brought in scores of nationally known, popular writers.

The 2011 Twin Cities Jewish Book Fair continues the tradition and celebrates the significant contributions of today’s finest authors: seasoned writers, well known among scholarly or literary circles, and newly emerging voices.

You’re invited to join in the discussions, to laugh, think, reflect, debate, celebrate and get inspired!

Some presentations will speak to Jewish culture and history, but all have universal appeal. The events are co-sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and are all open to the public.

People of the Book series passes are available for $50 to JCC members or $75 to the community. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or online in advance.

Author event details can be found below. For more information, call 651-698-0751 or visit Jewish Book Fair.

 

John Pollack, “The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics”

"The Pun Also Rises" by John Pollack

Wordplay pundit John Pollack, winner of the 1995 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship, discusses puns, how they impacted the development of language, drove creativity and progress and why they still matter. Yes, he is going to speak up for the lowest form of humor. We all know someone who loves and someone who hates puns; bring them all along for what promises to be a punderful discussion on the importance of having fun with language.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $6; all others: $9

 

Meir Shalev, “My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner”

"My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner" by Meir Shalev

One of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, Shalev’s books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been best-sellers in Israel, Holland and Germany. Shalev received the 2006 Brenner Prize, one of Israel’s top literary awards, for “A Pigeon and a Boy.” His latest novel is a lighthearted tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, the sport of storytelling and his Grandma Tonia’s constant battle with the family’s biggest enemy: dirt.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011
Place: Sabes JCC, 4330 Cedar Lake Rd. S., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Cost: $12 (event not included in People of the Book series pass)

 

Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole, “Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza”

"Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza" by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole

MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole and acclaimed essayist Adina Hoffman tell the story of the retrieval from an Egyptian geniza — a repository for worn-out texts — of the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered. Presenting a panoramic view of 900 years of vibrant Mediterranean Judaism, Hoffman and Cole bring modern readers into the heart of this little known trove, whose contents have rightly been dubbed “the Living Sea Scrolls.” A gripping tale of adventure and redemption.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $6; all others: $9

 

Izzeldin Abuelaish, “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Sacrifice on the Road to Peace”

"I Shall Not Hate" by Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Abuelaish captured hearts, headlines and humanitarian awards for his response to the death of his daughters in a bombing in 2009. He calls for the people of the Middle East to start talking to each other. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis. This is a story of unshakable courage, optimism and belief in the healing power of love.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $6; all others: $9

 

Susan Orlean, “Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend”

"Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend" by Susan Orlean

A staff writer at the New Yorker, Orlean is the author of “The Orchid Thief,” which was made into the film “Adaptation.” Her goal as a writer is to write long stories about interesting things. With her new book, she succeeds. The talented storyteller takes us on a tour through American pop culture in a biography of the dog actor Rin Tin Tin. At the heart, this book explores the enduring bond between humans and animals. This is more than the story of a dog, or even a series of dogs, this book explores what it takes to create an icon.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $6; all others: $9

 

Michael Wex, “The Frumkiss Family Business”

"The Frumkiss Family Business" by Michael Wex

Author of “Born to Kvetch,” a New York Times best-seller, Wex is a well-known speaker on all things Yiddish and an accomplished translator of works both from and into the mamaloshen. His new novel touches on the lives of four generations of one big, hapless family. It is a corrosive, smart and laugh-out-loud funny kaleidoscopic portrait of middle class Canadian life at the beginning of the current century.

Local band Judith Eisner Klezmorim will provide the backdrop for Wex’s unique blend of learning, stand-up comedy and probing investigation into the nature of Yiddish and Yiddishkayt.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $10; all others: $15

 

Marc Agronin, “How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey into The Heart of Growing Old”

"How We Age" by Marc Agronin

Dr. Agronin presents his experiences counseling the residents of Miami Jewish Health Systems. Drawing on personal experiences and in-depth interviews with pioneers in the field, he explores what aging means today and how well we do, or don’t, understand it. A Harvard University graduate with a degree in psychology and philosophy, Dr. Agronin received his medical degree from Yale University. His articles have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $10; all others: $15

 

Myla Goldberg, “The False Friend”

"The False Friend" by Myla Goldberg

Goldberg is author of the best-selling debut “Bee Season,” a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, among other honors, and later adapted for the screen. Goldberg’s new novel, deeply resonant and emotionally charged, explores the complexities of moral judgment, the fallibility of memory, and the adults that children become — leading us to question the truths that we accept or reject and the lies to which we ultimately succumb.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $10; all others: $15

 

Lisa Miller, “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife”

"Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife" by Lisa Miller

While 80 percent of Americans say they believe in heaven, few can articulate what exactly they believe. Miller, a senior editor at Newsweek, offers a serious investigation of heaven through interviews with religious leaders, academics and everyday people. See how your perceptions of heaven compare to traditional and popular ideas. At Newsweek, Miller oversees all of the magazine’s religion coverage and writes the weekly “Belief Watch” column. She also is a regular contributor to the Washington Post’s “OnFaith,” an online global conversation about religion and faith.

Time: TBA
Date: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012
Place: St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116
Cost: JCC members: $10; all others: $15

If you have further questions, contact Jeffrey Richman, JCC Jewish Cultural Arts Director, at 651-255-4752.

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