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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Interview with “Afterward” Director Ofra Bloch

“As a kid in Israel, my dream was to become a psychoanalyst and a filmmaker,” Ofra Bloch said in a telephone interview from her home in New York City. “Later on, I became a psychoanalyst but I never dared to go to filmmaking school. So when I decided to make a film, it was sheer chutzpah because I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t have any technical skills. But I knew what I wanted to see.” Her clear vision led her to make “Afterward,” a new documentary that explores the lingering and cross-cutting trauma embedded in generations of Germans, Israelis and Palestinians. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is sponsoring two screenings at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Six years ago, when Bloch, 69, began working on her first full length feature, she intended to center... Read More →

Forthcoming Poetry Collection “Deluge” A Stunning Debut For Leila Chatti

Leila Chatti worked six years to create Deluge, 52 poems that the esteemed Copper Canyon Press will publish next year as her first book. Michael Wiegers, editor of the press that publishes Jericho Brown, C.D. Wright and W.S. Merwin, called Chatti in March to give her the news. “I’ve been happy-crying for the past hour driving to the prison I teach at – I’m so very, very excited to say my first book, DELUGE, is going to be published with @CopperCanyonPrs,” Chatti tweeted. “This feels like the best dream. I am so wildly grateful. Praise to God in all things.” Faith is a strand that weaves through her first two chapbooks and rises in Deluge. Chatti, 28, is the daughter of a Muslim father and a Catholic mother. When her father heard that the Copper Canyon editor -- whom his... Read More →

Teaching Anisfield-Wolf In The Classroom

By Gabrielle Bychowski How do we talk about racism? How do we talk about sexism? These were two of the questions that initiated the 2018 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award seminar at Case Western Reserve University. The goal was not only to help facilitate talk about racism and sexism but also to study the ways in which this talk already occurs. Students were challenged to analyze and deconstruct the grammar and rhetoric of white supremacy: What are the images created and repeated? How are sentences structured to lead readers or listeners to certain conclusions? What are the nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives that act as dog whistles for attentive audiences? The thesis of our seminar was that Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners could help answer the questions posed on racism and sexism. We... Read More →

Zadie Smith’s “Feel Free” Honored At National Book Critics Circle Awards

Zadie Smith, best known for her piercing comic novels, has won a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism for her essays collected in Feel Free. She extended appreciation to her husband first, with a jaunty, “Thank you so much to Nick Laird, for sharing so much with me, willingly and unwillingly, including the title of his poetry book Feel Free, which I would also like to apologize to for stealing.” The book is a lively, capacious and learned romp through five sections that explore freedom of language and thought: “In the World,” “In the Audience,” “In the Gallery,” “On the Bookshelf and “Feel Free.” Smith, a 43-year-old Londoner, won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2006 for On Beauty, a witty story of an interracial family living in an American... Read More →

“Afterward,” New Film On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Premieres At The Cleveland International Film Festival

Afterward official photoJoin us for the Cleveland premiere of "Afterward," a 94-minute documentary from Jerusalem-born psychoanalyst Ofra Bloch that explores the lingering and cross-cutting trauma embedded in generations of Germans, Israelis and Palestinians. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is sponsoring the film at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. Bloch, who lives in New York City, began making the documentary intending to focus on the second and third-generation descendants of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, her attempt to shed hostility she carried against Germans as a people. After filming began, however, she recognized her own prejudices – especially against Palestinians, a group she was raised to hate -- were preventing her from telling the full story. She expanded her scope to... Read More →
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