The Newsletter of Fig Tree Books LLC
February 2022: Issue #27
Fredric D. Price, Founder & Publisher
SHORT STORY: Wonder Woman by Harriet Shenkman

"The chief is pissed. Yael is even more pissed. There is the protest to deal with, demonstrators gathered outside Al Aska Mosque vowing vengeance. And now the girl the operation used as a honey trap has gone missing. The girl is not eighteen as she claimed. She’s sixteen. She is not blonde. She’s a brunette. And she is not Russian. She’s Ukrainian. Despite being a little liar, Yael feels sorry for her. The agency borrowed her from the massage parlor.  The girl was duped into working at the Milk and Honey Massage Parlor, lured from a poor village, her only pleasure going to church with her grandmother once a week. Yael detests the sex trade, especially when young girls are involved."

Harriet Shenkman earned a Ph.D. from Fordham University. She is a Professor Emerita at City University of New York. Her poetry awards include the Women’s National Book Association 2013 Annual Writing Contest in Poetry and the Women Who Write 2013 International Poetry and Short Prose Contest. Her poetry appeared in Union, the Raynes Poetry Competition Anthology, Evening Street Review, Third Wednesday, Jewish Currents, Jewish Magazine, Westchester Review. Oyez Review, The Alexandria Quarterly, Comstock Review, The Berru Poetry Series, and two poetry chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press, Teetering and The Present Abandoned. She has completed a novel, The Camel Tamer. A short story based on the novel entitled The Clinic is forthcoming from Jewish Fiction dot net. She was born in Brooklyn and lives in Westchester, New York.
Three Fig Tree Books are now available as AUDIO BOOKS. Click on the book cover images to listen to a sample narration. You can pick one up for FREE with an Audible Trial.
Visit our friends at Sinai and Synapses and Judaism Unbound
by clicking on their logos below.
Sinai and Synapses bridges 
the religious and scientific worlds, 
offering people a worldview that is 
scientifically grounded and spiritually uplifting.
Jeremy Dauber: Judaism Unbound Episode 301 - American Comics and Jewish Comedy. Click on Episode 301 below to listen to Jeremy Dauber; click on the book cover to learn more about Jeremy's book.
from the Jewish Book Council

The title — and central metaphor — of Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan’s latest graphic novel, Tunnels, is a captivating one. Humans, and animals, dig
tunnels for a variety of reasons: to run away; to for age and explore; to connect places and their inhabitants. In sum, the tunnel is a functional metaphor, both for the limitations of story telling and for the many bridges that story telling offers.

It’s a fitting structural device for a graphic novelist who has had four books
translated into English, each detailing the lives of complicated fictional
characters, mainly Ashkenazi Israeli Jews.
Visit our new bookstore website in which all our books are heavily discounted

All our print books are now on sale for just $4.99 and all our e-books are on sale for just $2.99.

That's not a misprint!

You can visit this new website to see all of our books by clicking on the image on the right.
JEWS OF DIFFERENT HUES: Meet the multiracial Jewish family who swapped lives on NBC

For their first episode including a Jewish family, the casting directors of “Home Sweet Home,” a new life-swapping show, tapped a multiracial family whose youngest child shares a name with the iconic children’s poet Shel Silverstein.

The Silversteins — Joshua (40), who is Black; Cinthya (37), who is Mexican American; and their three children, Ami (13), Laila (9) and Shel (2) — may well have been the first multiracial Jewish family to make a primetime appearance on American network television.

During each episode of “Home Sweet Home,” which was created and executive produced by “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, two families from very different backgrounds swap lives for a week. They move into the other family’s house, prepare their typical meals, meet their friends and participate in their activities. The goal is to expose the families (and viewers on NBC and Hulu) to other lifestyles and foster greater empathy for one’s neighbors.
BOOK REVIEW: A new translation of Bambi, Felix Salten’s 1923 novel reasserts its original message that warns of Jewish persecution

It’s a saccharine sweet story about a young deer who finds love and friendship in a forest. But the original tale of Bambi, adapted by Disney in 1942, has much darker beginnings as an existential novel about persecution and antisemitism in 1920s Austria.

Thank you to Bob Lehrer, my friend from high school (!), for bringing this new translation to my attention.
HAVDALAH: Enjoy watching and singing along, saying good-bye to Shabbat and welcome to the new week
BOOK REVIEW: Jacobo's Rainbow by David Hirshberg

Authors are always intrigued by what professional critics have to say about their works. In truth, however, after speaking with hundreds of writers over the years, it’s clear that most authors want to know what other successful writers have to say about their books.

Read what Howard Jay Smith and Jeff Wallach say about David Hirshberg's second novel (it follows My Mother's Son) Jacobo's Rainbow.

Available in hard copy, e-format, and audio. Click on the image of the cover to learn more.
MY JEWISH YEAR: Chapter 14,
Tzom Esther & Purim, by Abigail Pogrebin,
"Purim’s modern observance, at least in Reform synagogues I’ve visited, doesn’t focus on that brutal coda, highlighting instead the reenactment of cruel Haman and courageous Esther. The ritual is to
read aloud the story from a scroll of parchment known as the megillah,
which has the biblical book of Esther inscribed on it. The narrative is then often theatricalized with wacky costumes, in a play called a
spiel—pronounced “shpeel.” Whenever Haman is mentioned during the satire, people “boo” vigorously or spin noisemakers, called groggers, to drown out his name."
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