Big news broke shortly after we sent our last newsletter out; in case you missed the announcement regarding our acquisition of Abigail Pogrebin's My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew, you'll find the happy details below.
Other excellent tidings have come FTB's way since we last e-mailed you, and we're delighted to share those with you below as well.
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—Erika Dreifus, Media Editor
Announcing the Acquisition of Abigail Pogrebin's My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
Fig Tree Books recently announced the acquisition of rights to publish My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew by Abigail Pogrebin. Publication is scheduled for March 2017, and the book will feature a foreword by A.J. Jacobs.
Based on Pogrebin's series for The Forward, My Jewish Year reflects the author's journey—spiritual and reportorial—into the heart of Judaism. "I had never lived a full Jewish year before, in the sense of adhering to every holiday ritual—major and obscure—prescribed by observant Jewish life," Pogrebin said. "I am like so many American Jews who view the mandate to observe every annual milestone not only as daunting...but too late to attempt."
For a year, Pogrebin observed every popular holiday (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover), festival holidays (Sukkot, Hanukkah, and Purim), six fasts, and less-understood holidays (Shavuot, Shemini Atzeret, Lag B'Omer), seeking clarity and connection through deep research, revealing interviews, and celebrations that took her out of her comfort zone. In the process, she found a depth of community she won't forget. In a narrative tradition similar to A.J. Jacobs's The Year of Living Biblically and Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible, Pogrebin digests this immersive experience with humor and wonder, reverence and irreverence, in a manner that is both accessible and inspiring to readers.
Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners based on their experience with readers and patrons.
"The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous," said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. "The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry."
"We are absolutely delighted to see Ben Nadler's marvelous novel receive this latest recognition," said Fredric D. Price, Fig Tree's publisher. "Reviewers and readers have raved about The Sea Beach Line from the start; this honor is both well deserved and deeply appreciated."
Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, in June and will also name the Editor's Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation. We're pulling for Ben Nadler and The Sea Beach Line, and we hope that you are, too.
P.S. A quick reminder that Ben is registered to attend the Jewish Book Network's annual "Meet the Author" event in May. If you'll be participating, please look out for him! He'll be happy to meet you.
We'll leave you with two pretty terrific tidbits concerning Jessamyn Hope's debut novel Safekeeping. Published last June, the book continues to earn new fans practically every day. Lately, they've been making their appreciation known via podcast.
Case in point: New York Public Library (NYPL) librarian Gwen Glazer recently raved about the book on the popular podcast "The Librarian Is In." (We encourage you to listen to the entire episode, but if you're in a rush, the Safekeeping material begins shortly before the seven-minute mark. Bonus: If you've ever had difficulty discerning between "kibitz" and "kibbutz," clarity awaits.)
Even more recently—the episode is available as of TODAY—Jessamyn appears on Tablet magazine's "Unorthodox," where she talks about the true-life inspirations behind some of Safekeeping's characters (and a lot of other cool things). Take a listen, why don't you? (Again, the entire episode is worth your time, but if you're time-crunched, Jessamyn enters the conversation about 12 minutes in.)