Leisure suits, big hair and the Bee Gees are just part of the draw of a new book, Bar Mitzvah Disco. With essays from Jonathan Safran Foer, Sarah Silverman and others, the book documents bar and bat mitzvahs from the 1970s through the '90s.
His book The Human Stain is about a professor accused of racism who has a secret about his own ethnic identity. It's just been adapted into a new film starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman. The Human Stain won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. It is the third of a trilogy that includes his American Pastoral and I Married a Communist.
Writer Samuel Freedman. He’s just written a book about the state of the American Jewish Community called “Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the soul of American Jewry." (Simon & Schuster) Freedman believes that three fundamental questions are rending the American Jewish community today: "What is the definition of Jewish identity? Who decides what is authentic and legitimate Judaism? And what is the Jewish compact with America?" We talk with Freedman following the recent nomination of the first Jewish vice presidential candidate, Democrat Joe Lieberman.
Writer Stefan Kanfer's latest book is called "A Summer World," about the Borscht Belt -- a Jewish enclave in the Catskills that nurtured a generation of comics. Kanfer talks about the lives of some of the resorts' regulars, and why some the community is now in decline.
Writer Stefan Kanfer. Kanfer's latest book is called "A Summer World: The Attempt to Build a Jewish Eden in the Catskills, from the Days of the Ghetto to the Rise and Decline of the Borscht Belt." The Borsht Belt nurtured a generation of comics and defined a culture. Kanfer talks about the lives of the people who frequented the Catskill resorts, and the reason those resorts are now in decline.
Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews an English translation of the novel, "The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman," by Polish writer Andrzej Szczypiorski. Although it was a bestseller in Europe, the novel was banned in Poland because of the writer's involvement with Solidarity. With the recent political changes, Szczypiorski's book is now published in Poland and in July he was elected to the Polish Senate.