Jewish Book Week kicks off this weekend, with more than 6,000 guests expected to attend the annual cultural event.
Suzanne Baum takes a look at the festival programme and highlights some of the books to read, lectures to attend and speakers to listen out for…
• One of Israel’s foremost contemporary writers, novelist, journalist and playwright AB Yehoshua, will be giving a lecture in celebration of secular Jewish culture.
• Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson returns to talk about his award-winning novel, J.
• Author Assaf Gavron chats about his prize-winning book The Hilltop, a daring novel about life in a settlement on the West Bank.
Top works of fiction
• Look out for the English edition of author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s debut novel One Night, Markovitch.
• Composer, singer and author Ella Leya talks to Tracy Chevalier about her debut novel Orphan Sky, as well as performing some jazz.
• Marking the 125th anniversary of the birth of GB Stern, author of The Matriarch, Linda Grant discusses the lasting significance of this tale of the scandalous life of a west London Jewish family at the dawn of the 20th century.
• The End of Days by author Jenny Erpenbeck is a best-seller in Europe and consists essentially of five ‘books’, each leading to a different death of the same unnamed woman.
Politics and current affairs
• Award-winning Palestinian human rights lawyer Raja Shehadeh talks about his new book, Language of War, Language of Peace.
• Roger Cohen, Michael Ignatieff and Simon Schama debate some of the potential futures facing Israel and the Middle East amid heightened tension following the war between Israel and Hamas this summer.
Memoirs of the Holocaust
• Eva Schloss, stepdaughter of Otto Frank, tells the story of her long journey home after the liberation of Auschwitz.
• Barbara Winton talks about her father Nicholas, regarded as Britain’s Schindler, who masterminded a plan to rescue 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
• Hermann Simon shares his mother’s memoir of surviving the Second World War in hiding in the book Gone to Ground.
• Celebrated psychologist and writer Andrew Solomon talks to Rabbi Julia Neuberger about writing his monumental book, Far from the Tree.
• Yuval Noah Harari will be interviewed by John Gray about his book Sapiens, which takes readers on a whirlwind journey across more than 70,000 years of human existence.
• As Israeli and Jewish chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi take London by storm, Jay Rayner, restaurant critic of The Observer, discusses the allure of Middle Eastern cooking with The Palomar’s Tomer Amedi, Honey and Co’s Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovitch, and the founding chef of Zest, Josh Katz.
Fathers and daughters
• Jonathan Sperber chats to Jonathan Freedland about his biography of Karl Marx, while Rachel Holmes is in conversation with Rachel Cooke about her acclaimed biography of Karl’s favourite daughter, Eleanor Marx.
• Simon Schama and his daughter, biographer and journalist Chloe Schama, unravel the father-daughter bond in a lively conversation about parental expectations, inter-generational values and the nature of creativity.
• Stephen Waley-Cohen, the impresario and producer of The Mousetrap, and his daughter Tamsin Waley-Cohen, the gifted violinist, appear together describing their lives both on and off stage, with music from Tamsin and other members of the London Bridge Trio, Kate Gould and Daniel Tong.
• John Kampfner, author of The Rich, in which he studies the evolution of wealth, discusses his findings with Giles Fraser.
• FT chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King dissect Wolf’s book on what has been learned from the financial crisis.
• Elaine Feinstein talks with fellow-poet and author Michael Schmidt about her new and long-awaited collection of poems.
• Actress Maureen Lipman joins poet Jeremy Robson in reading from his powerful and witty new collection of poetry, entitled Blues in the Park.
Arts and culture
• Bob Mankoff, cartoonist for The New Yorker, demonstrates what makes the genre so special in his book How About Never – Is Never Good For You?
• Frédéric Brenner presents his project of photographing Israel and the West Bank, in which 11 leading international photographers participated.
• Annie Cohen-Solal discusses the life and works of Mark Rothko, one of the most influential and original painters of the 20th century.
• Photographer Gemma Levine’s book, Just one more…, showcases her incredible pictures taken in Israel and also of her encounters with famous people, including Lady Diana and Golda Meir.
• During the festival there will be a specially commissioned two-act Gershwin Review, an evening of dazzling songs with performers Henry Goodman, Issy van Randwyck and Clive Rowe.
•Jewish Book Week runs from 21 February to 1 March. The full programme of events is available online at www.jewishbookweek.com. Events take place at Kings Place, N1 9AG and at the Jewish Museum, NW1 7NB.