Fiction Forum “Speed Dating”

Tue. Oct 20, 2020 12:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
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Fiction Forum “Speed Dating”

Fiction Forum “Speed Dating”

Enjoy eight great authors in four hours that will speed by!

$10 Florida Series

Tuesday, October 20 · 12 - 4pm


Jennifer Rosner

The Yellow Bird Sings

Jen­nifer Rosner’s debut nov­el fol­lows Roza and her young daugh­ter, Shi­ra, who flee the Nazis dur­ing World War II, staying alive through sharing memories and their love of music. With the con­stant threat of discovery from their first hiding place, they depart on separate paths - Shira to a convent orphanage while Roza is left to fend for her­self in the woods - both enduring hunger, dis­com­fort, men­tal anguish, con­fu­sion and denial.  Rosner portrays the parallel survival journeys of these nuanced and complex characters and brings to light the bur­den of Holocaust survivor guilt while showing that life goes on — with life-affirm­ing passions like the music this mother and daughter shared.

The Yel­low Bird Sings is Jen­nifer Rosner’s debut nov­el. Her pre­vi­ous books include the mem­oir If A Tree Falls: A Fam­i­ly’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard about rais­ing her deaf daugh­ters, and the children’s book The Mit­ten String.


Jan Eliasberg

Hannah’s War

Vet­er­an film and tele­vi­sion writer Jan Elias­berg’s first novel explores the wartime life of a bril­liant Jew­ish female physi­cist, Dr. Han­nah Weiss, based on a real and large­ly unsung genius named Lise Meit­ner. Part love sto­ry, part Holo­caust tale, part thriller, the book begins in the Kaiser Wilhelm Laboratory in 1938 Berlin as Jews were gradually become non-persons. Hannah’s complicated relationship with German fellow scientist Stefan Frei, who comes to value her genius, continues after the war when in New Mex­i­co of 1945, she is work­ing on the Man­hat­tan Project with Robert Oppen­heimer. Han­nah is sus­pect­ed of send­ing atomic bomb secrets to Frei — an act of trea­son for which she faces exe­cu­tion. Are her notes to Stefan help­ing the Nazis? Or are Ste­fan and Hannah purposefully giv­ing the Nazis mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion? The nov­el deals with physics, espi­onage, and Jew­ish tragedy but is also a deeply affect­ing emo­tion­al tale of redemp­tive love.

Jan Elias­berg is an award-win­ning writer and prolific ​director of dra­mat­ic pilots for CBS, NBC, and ABC including Mia­mi Vice and Wiseguy; count­less tele­vi­sion series episodes includ­ing Bull, Nashville, Par­ent­hood, The Magi­cians, Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Ange­les. Elias­berg also has a sto­ried career as a screen­writer.

Max Gross

The Lost Shtetl

What if there were a Jewish town that Hitler missed? For over fifty years, Kreskol, a tiny Polish shtetl, has exist­ed vir­tu­al­ly untouched and unchanged, spared of the Holo­caust and Cold War, enjoying an iso­lat­ed peace. But then a mar­riage dis­pute spi­rals out of con­trol. Pesha, in a love­less, arranged mar­riage, sum­mons the courage to escape Kreskol. When her hus­band pursues her, pan­icked town lead­ers, pro­tect­ing their own secrets, send orphaned outcast Yankel, woe­ful­ly unpre­pared and functionally illiterate, to bring them home. Then Yankel’s story comes out and is splashed across the cov­ers of Pol­ish news­pa­pers. Ready or not, Kreskol is sud­den­ly redis­cov­ered and brought into the 21st cen­tu­ry. Torn asun­der by dis­agree­ment between those embrac­ing change and those cling­ing to its old-world ways, the town may soon be forced to make a choice or dis­ap­pear altogether.

Max Gross is a staff reporter for the New York Post, where his arti­cle ​“Schlub You the Right Way” was pub­lished. His occa­sion­al col­umn, The Hap­less Jew­ish Writer, appears in The For­ward. He lives in Queens, New York.


David Hopen

The Orchard

A poignant com­ing-of-age sto­ry, in The Orchard a devout Jew­ish high school stu­dent’s plunge into the sec­u­lar­ized world threat­ens every­thing he knows of him­self. In ultra-Ortho­dox Brook­lyn, Ari Eden’s lonely days were ded­i­cat­ed to intense study and reli­gious rit­u­als. So, when his fam­i­ly moves to a glitzy Mia­mi sub­urb, Ari seizes his chance for rein­ven­tion in a new, opu­lent Jew­ish acad­e­my. Entan­gled in the school’s most exclu­sive and way­ward group, Ari is stunned by his peers’ dizzy­ing wealth, ambi­tion and shame­less pur­suit of life’s plea­sures. Influenced by their charismatic rabbi, the group begins test­ing their reli­gion in unconventional ways, push­ing moral bound­aries and careen­ing toward a per­ilous future in which the tra­di­tions of their faith are repur­posed to mys­te­ri­ous, trag­ic ends. Mes­mer­iz­ing and play­ful, heartrend­ing and dark­ly roman­tic, The Orchard probes the con­flict­ing forces that deter­mine who we become: the heady rela­tion­ships of youth, the allure of great­ness, the doc­trines we inher­it, and our con­cealed desires.

David Hopen is a stu­dent at Yale Law School. Raised in Hol­ly­wood, Flori­da, he earned his master’s degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford and grad­u­at­ed from Yale Col­lege. The Orchard is his debut novel.

Leslie K. Barry

Newark Minutemen

A True 1930’s Leg­end About a Box­er Who Tries to Save a Nation’s Soul With­out Los­ing Barry’s 1930s fic­tion­al­ized true sto­ry is about Jew­ish Amer­i­can box­ers backed by the FBI and Mafia who fight Amer­i­can Nazis when no one else will. The Nazi par­ty is on the rise, led by a charis­mat­ic, dan­ger­ous, self-styled Amer­i­can Hitler. Thou­sands of Amer­i­cans have joined a cam­paign of rabid nation­al­ism and anti­semitism that threatens Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy. While the Par­ty is plan­ning its biggest expan­sion ever, Yael Newman, a young Jew­ish box­er fighting for an FBI-formed mili­tia and run by promi­nent Jew­ish gang­sters, infiltrates the Par­ty dis­guised as a Storm Troop­er. Along the way, a forbidden love affair with American Nazi Krista Brecht, spies and assas­si­na­tion com­pli­cate his jour­ney, noticeably alongside the echoes of a Nurem­berg-like cry that calls for Ger­man Amer­i­cans to rise up and ​“Make Amer­i­ca Great.”

Leslie K. Bar­ry is a screen­writer, author, and exec­u­tive pro­duc­er. She has had exec­u­tive posi­tions with major enter­tain­ment com­pa­nies includ­ing Turn­er Broad­cast­ing, Hasbro/​Parker Broth­ers and Mat­tel Mind­scape Video Games. She lives in Tiburon, CA with her husband, four kids and a dog.


Linda Kass

A Ritchie Boy: A Novel

Set dur­ing the dawn of World War II and the dis­rup­tive decade to fol­low, A Ritchie Boy fea­tures Eli Stoff, a young Jew­ish immi­grant from Vien­na who escapes to Amer­i­ca with his par­ents. With­in five years, he has joined the U.S. Army and, thanks to his under­stand­ing of the Ger­man lan­guage and cul­ture, joins thou­sands of oth­ers like him who become known as Ritchie boys, young men who work under­cov­er in Intel­li­gence on the Euro­pean front to help the Allies win the war. The nar­ra­tive is writ­ten as a series of inter­re­lat­ed sto­ries, each told by dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters who fol­low Eli from Vien­na to New York, from Ohio to Mary­land, and then to war-torn Europe before he returns to his new coun­try to set down roots. The cir­cum­stances and peo­ple in these stories help shape Eli’s jour­ney from Europe to Amer­i­ca, and from boy­hood to manhood.

Linda Kass is the author of Tasa’s Song, and is the own­er of Gramer­cy Books, an inde­pen­dent book­store in cen­tral Ohio, where she is known for her exten­sive pub­lic service.


Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London: A Novel

Based on true events, The Last Train to Lon­don tells the sto­ry of Dutch­woman Tru­us Wijs­muller who, work­ing with British and Aus­tri­an Jews, risks her life to rescue thou­sands of chil­dren from Nazi-occu­pied Vien­na, a dan­ger­ous mission after the bor­ders close to refugees des­per­ate to escape. In 1936, the Nazis are lit­tle more than brutish bores to fif­teen-year old Stephan, a budding playwright and son of a wealthy and influ­en­tial Jew­ish fam­i­ly, and his best friend, bril­liant Žofie-Helene, a Chris­t­ian whose moth­er edits a pro­gres­sive, anti-Nazi news­pa­per. The two ado­les­cents’ care­free inno­cence is shat­tered when the Nazis take con­trol. After Britain pass­es a mea­sure to take in child refugees, ​“Tante Tru­us” dares to approach Adolf Eich­mann in a race against time to bring Stephan, his broth­er Wal­ter, Žofie-Helene and others on a per­ilous jour­ney to an uncer­tain future.

This nation­al best­seller in the U.S., Cana­da, and Europe will be pub­lished in over a dozen countries. Clayton’s screen­play for the nov­el was cho­sen for the esteemed Meryl Streep and Nicole Kid­man.


Hallie Ephron

Careful What You Wish For

Emi­ly Har­low is a pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­er who helps peo­ple declut­ter their lives; yet she’s mar­ried to a man who stops at every yard sale. Like other decluttering professionals, Emi­ly has devised a set of iron­clad rules. When work­ing with cou­ples, she makes clear that the client is allowed to declut­ter only his or her own stuff, a stip­u­la­tion that has kept Emily’s own mar­riage intact. But the larg­er his ​“col­lec­tion” becomes, the deep­er the dis­tance grows between them. Emi­ly has two new clients to dis­tract her: a wid­ow whose hus­band left behind a stor­age unit, and a young wife whose hus­band won’t allow her stuff into their house, with whom Emily’s meet­ing takes a detour when they end up fan­ta­siz­ing about how much more pleas­ant life would be with­out their col­lect­ing spous­es. But the next day, Emi­ly finds her­self in a mess that is too big to clean up.

Hal­lie Ephron is The New York Times best­selling author of Nev­er Tell a LieCome and Find MeThere Was an Old WomanNight Night, Sleep Tight and You’ll Nev­er Know, Dear. The daugh­ter of Hol­ly­wood screen­writ­ers, she grew up in Bev­er­ly Hills, and lives near Boston.

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Alper JCC 11155 SW 112 Avenue
Miami, FL 33176