Congregational Learning: TBA Book GroupWith Rabbi Clifford Kulwin
TBA Book Group Selections & Schedule
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
Thursday, March 1, 7:30 PM
Four years ago, critics and TBA Book Group members praised The Middlesteins. As they will All Grown Up. Andrea Bern is thirty-nine, single and childless, a talented artist who detests the soul crushing advertising agency that, nonetheless, pays her pretty well. She hates her life and we don’t blame her, but she still captivates us, evoking our admiration and appreciation as we accompany her ongoing reconsideration of what her life – and ours? – should be about.
Along with David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua, all three born in Jerusalem, Amos Oz is one of the greatest Israeli novelists of the last half century. Saul Bellow, along with Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud, is one of the great American Jewish novelists of the twentieth century. Early or late, how could a work by either be anything but significant?
Judas by Amos Oz
Thursday, May 3, 7:30 PM
This latest by Oz was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (which was won by his friend Grossman). The year is 1959 and Shmuel Ash, a perennial graduate student and wannabe Biblical scholar, needs money. He moves in with Gershom Wald, an elderly and eccentric man seeking company, and Atalia, the widow of Wald’s son, killed in action. Ash’s struggle to understand who he is, we come to realize, is also the struggle of the young state of Israel seeking to define itself.
Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow
Thursday, June 7, 7:30 PM
Sammler, one of Bellow’s later books and winner of the 1971 National Book Award for Fiction, tells the story of “Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City.” Sammler doesn’t know if his intellectual distance, even disdain, from the people around him is innate, or a response to his experiences in Europe. His mind is on deeper things. And he doesn’t care, at least at the beginning. Bellow takes us along on Sammler’s fascinating interior journey.