About the Authors - Issue 19


Allan Appel, born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, is a prize-winning novelist and playwright whose books include Club Revelation; High Holiday Sutra, winner of a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award; and The Rabbi of Casino Boulevard, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in the National Jewish Monthly, the Progressive, National Lampoon, and Tablet, and his plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, New Haven, and Provincetown. The Excommunication of Mrs. Eaton, about Puritan theocracy in early New Haven, won the Connecticut Heritage Productions full-length play award in 2011. He has published 14 books, including eight novels. His most recent novel, The Hebrew Tutor of Bel Air (Coffee House Press, 2010) is being optioned for television. The winner of two fellowships in fiction from the Connecticut State Office of Arts and Tourism, Appel lives in New Haven, where for the last decade he has been a staff writer for the online New Haven Independent.

Aharon Appelfeld, first championed in the English language by Philip Roth and Irving Howe, was born near Czernowitz, Bukovina, in 1932. During World War II, Appelfeld was deported to a concentration camp in Transnistria, but escaped. He was nine years old and for the next three years he wandered the forests. In 1944, he was picked up by the Red Army, served in field kitchens in Ukraine, then made his way via Yugoslavia to Italy. He reached Palestine in 1946. He is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva, Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won numerous prizes, including the Israel Prize, the MLA Commonwealth Award in Literature, and Prix Médicis étranger in France, the Nelly Sachs Preis, the Premio Grinzane Cavour and Premio Boccaccio Internazionale, the Bertha von Suttner Award for Culture and Peace, the Sydney Taylor Book Award, the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the 2016 Hemingway Prize in Italy. Appelfeld was a finalist for the 2013 International Man Booker Prize.

Benny Barbash was born in Beersheva in 1951, and currently lives in Tel Aviv. He served in the IDF for 11 years and sustained serious injuries in the Yom Kippur War. Barbash holds a BA in history from Tel Aviv University. During the 1980s and 90s, he was a leading figure in the Peace Now movement, and was involved in many initiatives, both local and international, to further Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. He has written fiction, plays and screenplays, including the script for Beyond the Walls, a landmark in Israeli cinema which won several international prizes. Barbash has received the ADAI-WIZO Prize (Italy, 2006) and the "Public's Favorite" Prize for My First Sony (Paris, 2008).

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Concertina (Mercer University Press, 2014), winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and, his most recent volume, The 13th Sunday after Pentecost (LSU Press, 2016). He is the author of four books of fiction, including The Life of the World to Come (University of South Carolina Press, 2014). Bathanti teaches at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he also serves as the University’s Watauga Residential College Writer-in-Residence.

G.Y. Dryansky is a longtime American resident of Paris, author of novels and screenplays written separately and also together with his wife, Joanne. Their Fatima’s Good Fortune and Satan Lake, having been published in numerous countries, have been optioned to become TV series in France. “Immerman(n)’s Diaspora” is his first short story.

Varda Fiszbein was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but has resided for many years in Seville, Spain. She is a professor of Hebraic Studies, Hebrew and Yiddish, and edits and translates works from those languages, as well as from English, into Spanish. Recently she published her Spanish-language translation of The December Project by Sara Davidson and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Fiszbein has authored children’s fiction (for which she has won numerous prizes), literary reviews and critical studies, and adult non-fiction. Her tale "Asuntos de familia" (Family Matters) is included in the short story collection of the same title. She is a regular collaborator to the Spanish magazine of Jewish culture “Raíces” (Roots) and is also the creator and host of various radio programmes about the world of Yiddish at radiosefarad.com.

Eytan Freier-Dror (the author) was born in Jerusalem. He studied musicology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and composition for cinema at the Rimon School of Music. So far he has produced two discs with his songs. In the year 2010 he established the "Ensemble Dror – Hebrew Music" which he directs to this day. The Fingers on the Hill is his first book. It is the recipient of the 2016 Sapir Prize for best debut of the year. Here is a link to one of the songs of Freier-Dror's ensemble. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyUpBdo1Xp

Greg Harris, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, has taught journalism, creative writing, and persuasive writing in the Harvard College Writing Program and in the Extension School. He is the founding editor of Pangyrus, a journal of literature, ideas, and politics, and is founder and co-director of Harvard LITfest, the university literary festival. His stories and essays have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Globe, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. His translation of Seno Gumira Ajidarma's novel, Jazz, Perfume, and the Incident was published as part of the Modern Library of Indonesia in 2013. He holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in cultural anthropology, and spent 2011 as a Fulbright Scholar in Bulgaria, researching his latest novel.

Sharon Hart-Green’s debut novel, Come Back For Me, was chosen as the inaugural fiction offering of The New Jewish Press and is forthcoming in May 2017. A PhD in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, Hart-Green has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. She is the author of two books: Not A Simple Story (Lexington) on the work of S.Y. Agnon, and Bridging the Divide (Syracuse University Press), featuring her translations of Hava Pinhas-Cohen’s Hebrew poetry. Hart-Green’s short stories, translations, and reviews have appeared in various publications, including The Jewish Review of Books and The Jewish Quarterly.

Julia Kissina (the author) is an award winning Russian and German-language novelist living in Berlin and New York City. A longtime member of the Moscow Conceptualist movement and Russian literary avant-garde, she is the author of several novels, including Elephantina, Springtime on the Moon and The Devil's Childhood, as well as a collection of stories Forget Tarantino. Her books became cult hits of Samizdat in the early 1990s and have since been translated into several languages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Kissina

Haim Lapid, writer, scriptwriter and social psychologist, was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, in 1948. He studied psychology at Tel Aviv University and has taught social and behavioral psychology. At present, Lapid lectures on negotiation theory and is an organizational consultant for hi-tech companies. He also teaches screenwriting at the College of Management and holds writing workshops. Lapid was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize in 2002.

Annie Lubliner Lehmann, a freelance writer for more than 28 years, has published articles in The New York Times and Detroit Free Press. Her book, The Accidental Teacher – Life Lessons from My Silent Son, published by the University of Michigan Press, is a memoir about the challenges and lessons of raising a son with severe autism. Ms. Lubliner Lehmann resides in Michigan with her husband, is the mother of three adult children and is currently working on her first novel.

Yenta Mash (1922-2013) was lauded as one of the finest writers in Yiddish in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. She grew up in a small town in what is now Moldova. In 1941 she was deported to the Siberian gulag. After seven years of hard labor, she settled in Kishinev (Chișinău) in the Moldavian SSR. In her 50’s, she made aliyah and settled in Haifa. Her short stories, many of them autobiographical, were collected in four volumes. In “The Second Time Around,” a late-life romance between two immigrants to Israel is tinged with childhood memories, sorrow, doubt, and a tentative embrace of joy.

Evelyn Marshall is a native Southern Californian. She is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, where she was on the English Honors program. A late starter as a writer of fiction, she published the following novels: The Provider (2012), The Way They See (2013), Concerning George Stekker (2014), The Romantic Imperative (2017), and the soon to be published An Incident in the Family (October 2017). The Provider and An Incident in the Familyare both Jewish novels. All of her novels treat aspects of love stories but they are not romances. Their time period spans the 1920s through the 1980s.

Michele Merens is a playwright and writer with published credits in: Third Wednesday, Lilith, Poetica, PlumHamptons, Inkwell, Thema, Verse Wisconsin, Vietnow, Crawdad and various anthologies. She is a winner of a 2008 Puffin Foundation Grant for her full-length play The Lion’s Den, the production archived on DVD at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum, Madison, WI. She is a Barnard College Senior Scholar in Creative Writing and a member of the Dramatist’s Guild.

Mona Leigh Rose is infatuated with short stories. Her fiction has appeared in The Writing Disorder, Avalon Literary Review and Luna Review. She is honored that one of her stories has been selected for the flash fiction anthology The Best Small Fictions 2017. She lives and writes in Santa Barbara, California.

Steven B. Rosenfeld is a retired New York City lawyer who has been writing for over forty years, but only began writing short fiction two years ago. His published non-fiction includes articles in legal journals and the public Advisory Opinions of the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board, which he chaired from 2002 through 2012. Two of his short stories were published in March 2017 in The City Key and Inigo Online. An earlier version of “Amy’s Story” received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Short Story America Prize contest. He lives in New York with his wife, Joan, and their two cats, Orville and Wilbur.

Edna Shemesh was born in Romania in 1953 and came to Israel with her family when she was five. She holds a BA in English literature and theater studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Shemesh has worked as a lecturer, and as a Hebrew-English-Hebrew translator; she is also a freelance journalist for the Hebrew and English-language press in Israel. Her short stories have been published in a number of literary periodicals. Shemesh has received the Women Writers of the Mediterranean Award sponsored by UNESCO (France, 2002), and won first prize in a short story competition held by the literary journal Iton 77 (2004). Her short story collection Amstel was shortlisted for the prestigious Sapir Literary Prize (2008).

Richard Slotkin is Olin Professor of American Studies (Emeritus) at Wesleyan University. He is best known for a trilogy of scholarly books on the myth of the frontier in American cultural history. Regeneration Through Violence (1973) was a National Book Award Finalist, and received the American Historical Associations Beveridge Award. The Fatal Environment (1985) received the Little Big Horn Associates Literary Award. Gunfighter Nation (1992) was a National Book Award Finalist. Lost Battalions, about immigrant soldiers in WW I, appeared in 2005. He has also published three historical novels. Abe (2000), awarded the Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction; The Return of Henry Starr (1988); and The Crater (1980).

Nizan Weisman was born in Haifa in 1956, and lives there with his family. He first studied philosophy and history of theater at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and later graduated in economy and financial accounting. For the last 30 years he has worked as a lecturer and business consultant for Israeli and global companies. Weisman's short stories have been published in a number of literary periodicals in Israel. Rosemary Woods, his first collection of stories, won the Haifa Foundation Award (2006) and was a finalist for the prestigious Haaretz Competition for Debut Fiction (2007). Israeli Breakfast is his second collection of stories.


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