|Center for Jewish Studies|
November 1, 2005
8:00 p.m. Reading
Assembly Hall, Campus Center
UAlbany, Uptown Campus
Novelist & Nonfiction Writer
Jonathan Rosen, novelist, memoirist, editor, and journalist, is the author of the new novel, "Joy Comes in the Morning" (2004), a playful, probing novel about Jewish faith and identity. The novel follows the growth of a romantic relationship between Deborah Green, a Reform rabbi, and Lev Friedman, a science writer and skeptic. Writing in the "New York Times," reviewer Art Winslow said, "Not since E. L. Doctorow's 'City of God' have we seen such a literary effort to plumb the nature of belief- in Jewish-American culture, in Talmudic study, in prayer, in sexual relations, in the very soundness of one's own mind." The "New Yorker" said, "Rosen's touching novel of Jewish manners thoughtfully addresses the question of whether piety can teach us faith."
Rosen's first novel was "Eve's Apple" (1997), the story of a young woman's struggle with anorexia. The "New Yorker" called "Eve's Apple," "An impressive debut--a highly original addition to the distinguished line of Jewish-American romances." Writing in the "New York Review of Books," Sue Halpern called it, "A realistic and emotionally complex narrative . . . Intention and desire, love's chaos, sadness that cannot be extinguished--the emotional nuances that Rosen brings to 'Eve's Apple' are haunting."
Rosen is also the author of "The Talmud and the Internet" (2000), a family memoir as well as a meditation on Judaism, literature, and technology. In advance praise, Cynthia Ozick said, "Its wisdom is in its mixture of rapture and elegy and honesty and reverence. Its learning leaps into living contemporaneity; it honors father and mother and grandparents; it thinks into both past and future; it shines with beauty and originality."
Rosen is the former cultural editor of the English language Jewish weekly, "The Forward," and a frequent contributor to the "New York Times" and the "New Yorker." He currently serves as series editor of the "Jewish Encounters Book Series," a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook.org. The first two books in the series include the short biography, "Maimonides" (2005), by author and physician Sherwin Nuland, and "The Life of David" (2005), a prose biography of the biblical king by former U. S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Other forthcoming books include Stephen J. Dubner on Moses, Stephen Greenblatt on the city of Vilna, Hillel Halkin on medieval poet Yehuda Halevi, Ben Katchor on kosher dairy restaurants, and David Mamet on Jewish self-hatred and anti-Semitism.
Ctr for Jewish Studies