Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Halbman in Toronto

If you happen to be in Toronto next week, I'll be appearing at the Jewish Book Festival to read from Halbman, a program the organizers are calling "New Takes on Jewish Montreal."

Wednesday, June 6th - 5:30 PM ($5 at the door)
The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon
at the Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (at Bloor), Toronto

New Takes on Jewish Montreal

Authors Sara Ferdman Tauben, Seymour Mayne and B. Glen Rotchin will each discuss Jewish life in Montreal, its history and its people.

Sara Ferdman Tauben is the author of Traces of the Past: Montreal’s Early Synagogues. She will discuss the architecture and social history of the rise and fall of Jewish communal life in Montreal’s old centre.

Seymour Mayne’s latest book, The Old Blue Couch and Other Stories, gives rise to hilarious predicaments that are endearing and deliciously comic.

B. Glen Rotchin, author of Halbman Steals Home, enters the same Yiddish Montreal we have come to love through the words of Mordecai Richler and pulls it off with humour and warmth.

Sponsored by Ronald P. Frye & Company and Co-sponsored by the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program, University of Ottawa.

More details here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Letters of A.M. Klein and what they say about writing today

I also wonder, with the diminishments of email, where do we write this type of one-to-one writing now? Where the image of one single person is kept in mind while typing? It’s hard to figure. You might keep a journal, and even expect it to be read by one or two people posthumously, but this is not the same as writing to one person. You might unload in consecutive, endless tweets and blogs and confessional columns (hello!), but this is writing to a solid mass of “everybody,” and this, too, is very different. We don’t do the audience of one so much anymore — the audience of one is a lost audience. Read More

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fifth Business (Penguin Modern Classics)Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful story told with wit, sensitivity, economy and insight. Dunstan Ramsay, war hero, loner, dreamer, bystander, is a character that will stay with me for a long time. Are we truly center stage in the performance of our own lives? Or are we characters, part real and part myth, in the life stories told to others? What matters more, hard fact or meaning? The world is magic; what we see and what we choose to believe. By the end I was torn about Dunny. He spent his life trying to justify his choices living according to traditional moral standards, and he pays a heavy price, wifeless and childless, and with his personal integrity only partially intact. He never truly stands in the spotlight, except in the reader's imagination.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Halbman on CKUT radio

In case you're still undecided about purchasing Halbman Steals Home, hopefully this interview with Jeffrey Mackie on CKUT radio will tip the scale.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Prophet in my own town... not really.

...Halbman makes for entertaining company, and the book breezes along. Rotchin’s prose flows with a nice comic edge, his dialogue is crisp, his evocation of place unerring. This kind of writing, with its unassuming view into a very specific world, is too often undervalued.

I'd call it positive, with reservations. Read more.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Harper Steals Home

Rookie sensation Bryce Harper of the Washington "formerly Montreal Expos" Nationals did the unthinkable in the first inning yesterday against the Philadelphia Phillies. He stole home. And makes it look easy.