The 2005 Jewish Book Celebration at the Memphis Jewish Community Center runs from November 13th to the 20th, a week's worth of programming that includes noteworthy authors known nationwide. For its Sunday opener at 2 p.m. on the 13th, however, the festival keeps closer to home with a panel discussion that includes four Memphians: Dewey Phillips biographer Louis Cantor (Dewey and Elvis); David Patterson, holder of the Bornblum chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Memphis and author of the Holocaust study Along the Edge of Annihilation; H. Pierre Secher, emeritus professor of political science at the U of M and author of the family memoir Left Behind in Nazi Vienna; and Anna Olswanger, literary agent and author of the children's book Shlemiel Crooks.
Anna Olswanger? If the name sounds familiar, it's because her father was Berl Olswanger, a piano man known to generations of Memphians as a performer, composer, and music-store owner, but Anna's made writing her thing, not music. And today she makes New Jersey her home, not Memphis. Not that music doesn't enter her mind -- or her writing. As she says, "If I got anything from my father's genes, it comes out in the rhythm of words. Or maybe that's a Southern thing?"
And maybe it's a Jewish thing? See Shliemel Crooks. Better yet, read it aloud. Your kids and you will enjoy it. Then see Samantha Alperin and the other guests and events at this year's Jewish Book Celebration:
Sunday, Nov. 13th, at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 16th, at 9:15 a.m.: "How To Read to Your Children," workshops by educator Samantha Alperin of Christian Brothers University. Free but registration required.
Monday, Nov. 14th, at 7 p.m.: screening of the film Paper Clips, a documentary on a memorial to the Holocaust undertaken by the children of Whitwell Middle School in Whitwell, Tennessee. A book based on that project will also be for sale.
Wednesday, Nov. 16th, at 7:30 p.m.: Ernestine Bradley, scholar, lecturer, and wife of former U.S. senator Bill Bradley, discussing her latest book, The Way Home: A German Childhood, An American Life, an account of the author's upbringing during and after World War II.
Thursday, Nov. 17th, at 11:30 a.m.: luncheon and discussion with psychologist Naomi Rosenblatt, author of After the Apple: Women in the Bible. Reservations required. $12 for JCC members; $15 for nonmembers.
Sunday, Nov. 20th, at 2 p.m.: award-winning journalist Steven Roberts -- co-author (with his wife Cokie Roberts) of From This Day Forward -- discussing and signing his latest book, My Fathers' Houses: Memoir of a Family.
In addition to her appearance at the Jewish Book Celebration, Anna Olswanger will be signing Shlemiel Crooks (NewSouth Books) and discussing "How To Publish a Children's Book: The Agent's Perspective" at Barnes & Noble (Wolfchase Galleria) on Sunday, Nov. 13th, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
2005 Jewish Book Celebration
Sunday, Nov. 13th-Sunday, Nov. 20th
Memphis Jewish Community Center
6560 Poplar Avenue
For more information, call 761-0810.