Monday Media: Dara Horn on Varian Fry

In her new Kindle Single, novelist Dara Horn (a Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival alum) explores the fascinating story of Varian Fry, who saved over 2,000 European Jewish intellectuals from the Nazis. Dara discusses Fry’s mission with Vox Tablet. Was he a brave rescuer, or was he  practicing his own brand of eugenics (or both)? Listen to the podcast here and read a sample of the Kindle Single here.

Varian Fry

LitFest Update ’09: Check out what you may have missed, and don’t miss another moment!

In case you missed it, we’ve been pretty busy with Lit Fest.  So busy that I don’t even have time to type out the full name of the Festival, as we are expecting a full theater of 250 individuals tonight for Melvin Urofsky’s lecture on his new biography Louis D. Brandeis: A Life. Yes, a full-house. For a book.

Lucky for you, we have partnered with WETA’s The Book Studio to bring you a little taste of the types of characters who appear during our Festival. Binnie Kirshenbaum and Jonathon Keats appear in this panel (as they appeared in our own panel on 10/22), but WETA also snagged Shana Liebman, the editor of Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish: The Heeb Storytelling Collection (our ‘young professionals’ program) to participate in a panel interview and discussion about Jewish books and Jewish stories. Oh, and in case you also missed this fact: The Heeb book wasn’t due out in stores until TODAY, but our event was last Wednesday, where we had the book available for sale. Take that fancy big chain and/or funky independent book stores!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So don’t miss another moment of the Literary Festival; there are only 2 nights left! Tomorrow (Tuesday) the lovely Dara Horn will take us on a journey back in time to Jewish life (and a spy story!) during the Civil War. And the Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture on Wednesday night features local legend and globally renowned historian Howard M. Sachar. Act now for half price tickets to Professor Sachar’s lecture!

Lit Fest ’09 Update: It is Upon Us

After slaving away in our offices for the last number of months, the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival is finally upon us. This coming Sunday, October 18, we kick off 10 days of the best and brightest of this year’s Jewish-related book releases. And in case you have missed our numerous blog updates, our official website and our Twitter feed (@DCJewishLitFest), here are some of my personal top choices (that is, if you can only attend a few out of our 10+ programs):

10/18 – local blogger Melissa Ford (yes, that’s right, the wife of CPO Josh Ford) joins us to discuss her new book Navigating the Land of IF: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options. Visit her blog Stirrup-Queens for a little taste and then buy your tickets.

10/22 – Past Imperfect: New Jewish Fiction truly captures what this Festival is all about. Showcasing great writing, interesting personalities and Jewish tradition. Three authors (yes, THREE) come together from the West Coast, the Midwest and the East Coast to talk about their individual books. Moderator Professor Sheila Jelen will help tie all the books together with her questions and insight. Buy Tickets.

10/24 – LitFest breaks out of the 16th Street J and moves to Hillyer Art Space for a night of spoken word poetry performances by featured artist Jake Marmer and then locals. Looking for an activity to fill your 9pm slot? Buy tickets to this program and bring your friends!

10/27 – Dara Horn. I have no words. Not only does her personal biography (award-winning, published author at the age of 25) make me want to cry, but her writing is just beautiful. All of her books are well-researched, well-written and just good stories! She is a Jewish writer who is completely content being part of that category – and we love and thank her for  that. Buy your tickets to hear her talk about her latest book, a piece of historical fiction about a Jewish soldier during the Civil War.

And how can we even mention the Festival without talking about our Closing Night author? Historian and GWU Professor Emeritus Howard M. Sachar graces our stage on 10/28 to speak about “Current Israeli Myths and Realities: The Way to Peace.” What exactly does that mean? Well I guess you’ll just have to buy your  tickets and find out!

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