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Dec. 31st, 2015

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Jewish books: Gyorgy Spiro's Captivity portrays First Century Roman Jewry

My review of Captivity by György Spiró appears in New York Journal of Books. Additional remarks about the novel and its historical background are found in my examiner article.

Nov. 5th, 2015

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91 year old William Gass' prose is still gorgeous in Eyes: Novellas and Stories

Eyes by William Gass book cover

My review of William Gass' new book of short fiction appears in New York Journal of Books. For a longer excerpt from the book and additional biographical info about Gass see my examiner.com article.



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a book review by David Cooper: Eyes: Novellas and Storie...
Eyes: Novellas and Stories by William H. Gaas book review. Click to read the full review of Eyes: Novellas and Stories in New York Journal of Books. Review written ...


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91 year old William Gass' prose is still gorgeous in Eye...
“The brown paper wall bore tears and peels and spots made by drops of who knew what — expectorations past.



 

Aug. 16th, 2015

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Big 5 personality test (I'm more extroverted in verse than in critical prose)

It's been a while since I posted anything other than book reviews here, but drwex posted his result of a personality test based on his writing, so I'll post mine. You can take the same test here: https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/

I did the test four times, first with excerpts from my narrative and dramatic poems, second with excerpts from my lyrical and some narrative and dramatic poems, third with my most recent New York Journal of Books book reviews, and fourth with my addenda to those book reviews published in examiner.com Results are behind the cut:

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Aug. 4th, 2015

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Israeli books: Ronit Matalon's autobiographic novel The Sound of Our Steps

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"A fictional and more literary tale of an Egyptian Jewish family’s diminished circumstances after immigrating to Israel is The Sound of Our Steps by Ronit Matalon, a novel published today in Dalya Bilu’s English translation by Metropolitan Books. In my New York Journal of Books review I praise it as a 'beautifully written and skillfully translated book that rewards rereading.'” -- from my examiner article Israeli Books: Ronit Matalon's autobiographic novel The Sound of Our Steps
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Jul. 16th, 2015

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Jewish books: Joshua Cohen's Book of Numbers is a high tech epic

bookofnumbersbookcover


What happens when a down on his luck luddite novelist is hired to ghostwrite a memoir by a math whiz tech mogul who shares his (and the author of this novel’s) name? ...At close to 600 pages of dense prose Book of Numbers is not light reading. I close my NYJB review by recommending it to “readers as ambitious as it is.” -- from Jewish books: Joshua Cohen's Book of Numbers is a high tech epic Also see my New York Journal of Books review. A challenging but fun and rewarding read!

Jul. 12th, 2015

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Milan Kundera's new novella The Festival of Insignificance

The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera

"... likewise 86 year old Czech-French novelist Milan Kundera’s new work of fiction, The Festival of Insignificance, which was published last week by New York based publisher Harper in Linda Asher’s fine English translation from the Kundera’s French, is a 128 pp. novella that revisits its author’s recurring themes but in a shorter format." -- from my examiner article. Also see my New York Journal of Books review.

May. 19th, 2015

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Books: Nell Zink's smart and witty 2nd novel Mislaid



"Looking for a brainy yet breezy novel that addresses gender, race, and class issues with levity and has a happy ending? Try Nell Zink’s Mislaid, her second published novel following her critically well-received debut The Wallcreeper in 2014." -- from my New York Journal of Books book review: Mislaid: A Novel by Nell Zink

"To sum up, Mislaid is an entertaining book worth reading on a plane or train ride to a vacation destination or on a poolside chaise lounge when you get there." -- from my examiner article, Books: Nell Zink's 2nd novel Mislaid is smart and witty

Apr. 27th, 2015

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Books: Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere by Georges Perec


What does fiction about art forgery have to do with Jewish identity?

In my New York Journal of Books review I praise Perec’s first novel as “a fully realized and mature work of fiction.” For a fuller discussion of Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere read my New York Journal of Books review












Portrait of a Man (The Condottiero) by Antonello da Messina (1475,Venice, Italy), Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Mar. 31st, 2015

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Jewish books: The Empire of the Senses probes Jewish identity in Weimar Germany


"Alexis Landau’s cinematically descriptive, character-driven debut novel explores ethnic identity via an intermarried family in WWI and Weimar era Germany, i.e. before anti-Semitism became official state policy legally codifying ethnic definitions." -- from my New York Journal of Books review in which I praise the book as “handsomely written” as well as a “powerful and compelling novel.” My additional remarks and excerpts from the book appear in examiner.com.

Mar. 12th, 2015

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Israeli books: Five Selves explores five inner lives



“...recommended to readers who enjoy interior prose and psychological literary fiction.” -- from my review of Five Selves by Emanuela Barasch Rubinstein in New York Journal of Books. My additional remarks and excerpts from the book appear in examiner.com.

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