Michael Weingrad is professor of Jewish studies at Portland State University. He is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic and is currently working on a book about Jews and fantasy literature.
I reserve the right to chat with you about all of my reading, whether there be dragons or not.
Two new books, different in tone but matched in caliber, show Israelis making their way as best they can in America and in life.
The Yarkon is as good a site as any for pondering the relationship between Israel and the imagination.
Bruno Chaouat dares to ask whether, given the moral autism of so many of Theory’s luminaries when facing the basic political questions of our time, his own romance with it has been a similar waste.
In real life, or as much of it as historians can reconstruct, Septimania was a name for the region of southern France that included the Jewish populations of such venerable cities as Carcassonne, Narbonne, and Toulouse. Jonathan Levi leans on the most delightfully far-fetched version of these events in his latest novel.
As monsters go, golems are pretty boring. Mute, crudely fashioned household servants and protectors, in essence they’re not much different from the brooms in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” story.
Leo Strauss may be as devastating as C. S. Lewis in his criticism of facile and destructive dogmas, but Hollywood isn’t planning a film version of Strauss’s Natural Right and History any time soon.
Avraham Halfi faced outward, a gifted comic performer, and inward, a lyric poet of resonant privacy.
The great French comic artist is now working at the height of his considerable powers, and he is obsessed with questions of Jewish identity and life in Europe.
In Chapterhouse: Dune, the sixth book in the Dune series and the last Herbert wrote before his death, the Jews show up.
A new batch of Israeli fantasy books may not contain Narnias, but they pound on the wardrobe, rattling the scrolls inside.
Dara Horn’s novel goes down to Egypt to guide its perplexed characters through a Joseph story.
The Jewish scholar of Arab literature Sasson Somekh's new autobiography is the latest in a line of memoirs of Jewish Baghdad.
Michael Weingrad responds to readers of his essay on the dearth of Jewish fantasy literature.
So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian?