|"FAITH AND DOUBT IN CONTEMPORARY JEWISH FICTION"|
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
4:15 p.m. Reading & Discussion
8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
Both Assembly Hall, Campus Center
UAlbany Uptown Campus
A panel discussion entitled "Faith and Doubt in Contemporary Jewish Fiction" will address ambivalent attitudes toward spirituality and tradition in the works of the newest generation of American Jewish authors. Members of the panel will include young fiction writers Elisa Albert, Shalom Auslander, and Peter Orner. Moderators will include UAlbany professors Joel Berkowitz and Edward Schwarzschild.
Elisa Albert is the author of the short story collection, "How This Night is Different" (2006). "Time Out New York" praised the book for its "wonder-inducing blend of sharp humor, religious ambivalence, and caustic wisdom." Albert is an adjunct assistant professor of creative writing at Columbia University and editor-at-large of the hip, irreverent Jewish news and entertainment website, Jewcy.com.
Times Union Review
Shalom Auslander is the author of "Beware of God: Stories" (2005), "Esquire" called the collection, "Heretical. Hysterical." Born and raised in an Orthodox family in upstate New York, and a self-described "survivor" of Holocaust survivors, Auslander wrestles with theological issues in absurdist fashion. He is a frequent guest on the Public Radio program, "This American Life."
Peter Orner is the author of the novel, "The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo" (2006), a "San Francisco Chronicle" Bestseller, and the story collection, "Esther Stories" (2001), winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction. Writing in the "New York Times," Margot Livesey called "Esther Stories," "brooding, mysterious, ineffable, beautiful."
Joel Berkowitz, co-moderator of the panel, is Chair of the Judaic Studies Department at UAlbany, and associate professor of Modern Jewish Studies. He is the author of "Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage" (2002), editor of "Yiddish Theatre: New Approaches" (2003), and editor and translator (with Jeremy Dauber) of "Landmark Yiddish Plays" (2006).
Edward Schwarzschild, co-moderator, is an associate professor in the UAlbany English Department and a fellow at the New York State Writers Institute. His first novel, "Responsible Men," was chosen as one of the "Best Books of 2005" by the "San Francisco Chronicle" and named "Best Literary Debut of 2005" by the Albany "Times Union." It was also a finalist for the Samuel Goldberg and Sons Foundation Prize for Jewish Fiction.