February 18, 2020

A Tough Time for Jewish Writers

“The world of literature, where Jews have made so many invaluable and long-standing contributions, is succumbing quickly to the new anti-Semitism.

The most recent example comes from the United Kingdom. Two cultural organizations in England have just rejected hosting talks by novelist Richard Zimler—explicitly because he’s Jewish. In the Guardian, Zimler writes of the conversation with a friend in which he learned of the trouble: “‘They asked me if you were Jewish, and the moment I said you were, they lost all interest,’ he said. “‘They even stopped replying to my emails and returning my phone messages.’”

Zimler had been hoping to promote his new novel, The Gospel According to Lazarus, and up until his friend confirmed the author’s Jewishness, these unnamed organizations had been interested. And then they weren’t. “It made Britain seem like a place I didn’t know and maybe never knew,” Zimler writes. “Even just asking about my religious affiliation struck me as outrageous.

It gets a bit more outrageous when you consider what Zimler’s publicist had to say to the Observer—while not revealing his own name: “I was very shocked and surprised. People in the literary world are not usually narrow-minded. Everyone who knows Richard knows he is his own person.””

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."