Welcome to the first newsletter of the Jewish new year 5776. (And a special welcome to the subscribers who have joined us after stopping by and chatting at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 20.)
Lots to get to in this issue, so this editor's note will be brief. As always, we are grateful for our newsletter readers, and we hope that you will share this issue with your reading and writing family, friends, and colleagues.
And, as always, we invite you to keep in touch with us between newsletters by clicking any of the buttons above to "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or discover fresh content on our website. (If you have received this newsletter because someone has forwarded it to you, please be sure to subscribe for updates yourself.) Thanks so much!
—Erika Dreifus, Media Editor
News, Reviews, and Giveaways
We were thrilled to see both of our fall titles—Ben Nadler's novel The Sea Beach Line and our re-issue of Edward Lewis Wallant's The Pawnbroker, now featuring a foreword by Dara Horn—spotlighted recently in Sandee Brawarsky's seasonal books preview for The Jewish Week. Indeed, the countdown to publication date is on for The Sea Beach Line, which will be officially released on October 13 (and the launch of which we'll be celebrating in Brooklyn, as noted below, a few days later). And the early-reader buzz continues to build:
"The Sea Beach Line seized my attention from the opening pages, offering a Jewish perspective on crime fiction. Its hero Issac (Izzy) Edel, ejected from college for drug-related activities and drawn to New York City on a quest to find his estranged father, Alojzy, narrates the novel with an honest voice, that’s somehow both naïve and streetwise in equal measure....The Sea Beach Line is an exceptionally well-written and captivating novel that will appeal to anyone who appreciates great writers like Michael Chabon and Dennis Lehane." — Kevin Joseph
"Plain and simple...this is a fantastic story. This was a delight from start to finish and had a great story that carried the whole way through. Mr. Nadler introduces [us] to a slew of characters that are all relatable even if we don't want to admit it. The real gem of the entire novel is the underlying suspense that mixes extremely well with traditional stories." — B. Hamlin
"Here is a surprise—a story of guy trying to find that place in the world and it is new and different and wonderfully written—so much so that I am considering adding to my list of readings for a course I will teach in the spring on the new Jewish literature. However, you do not have to be Jewish to enjoy this book." — Amos Lassen
We're offering one last chance for you to win a pre-publication copy of this marvelous novel. And while you're doing that over on Goodreads, why not enter the corresponding giveaway for The Pawnbroker? (Gentle reminder: Both books are also available for pre-order in both print and electronic formats.)
In the meantime, we're delighted to see that praise continues to stream in for our other books: Prayers for the Living, Compulsion, The Book of Stone, and Safekeeping. Read what critics have been saying in our review archive.
Do Your (Jewish) New Year's Resolutions Include Advancing Toward Publication?
Whether you're an author with a book-length manuscript ready to go out on submission, or you're a freelancer who writes brief book reviews, we'd love to hear from you. We welcome novel (including graphic-novel and young-adult novel) and memoir submissions from agents and authors year-round. If you have a completed manuscript that falls within one of these genres, and it meets our mission as explained in our guidelines, please consider sending it on to us.
Please also remember that at Fig Tree Books, we're dedicated to enriching awareness and discussion of Jewish books beyond those we publish ourselves. As we approach the first anniversary of the launch of our freelance-review series, we welcome queries from writers who might wish to review any of the books that we have highlighted. We pay $50 for each brief review that we publish; recent reviews and a link to the detailed query guidelines are also available in the Book Review Center.
Mark Your Calendars!
Boston. New York. Washington. Detroit. Rochester. Dallas. Toronto. Fig Tree's authors will be out and about this fall, and they're booking more appearances all the time.
Among imminent events, we signal to you Ben Nadler's launch celebration for The Sea Beach Line at BookCourt in Brooklyn (Sunday, October 18). We have also learned that the Fall for the Book festival in Fairfax, Virginia, will include a reading in tribute to the late Alan Cheuse, author of Prayers for the Living, on Saturday, October 3.
Details on these and many other happenings are available on our Events page.
Notes from FTB HQ
Please join us in congratulating our own Emily Greenberg on her new title: Assistant Editor. Emily joined FTB in October 2014 as Editorial and Publishing Assistant. "Emily has been a valuable member of the Fig Tree team, and this promotion is in recognition of her achievements on both the editorial and publishing sides of the business," said Michelle Caplan, Editor-in-Chief. Mazal tov, Emily!
And speaking of the blog: In October, our blog will be hosting theJewish Book Carnival. A project of the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Carnival is a monthly event for sharing, reading, and commenting on blog posts about Jewish books. Content may include reviews of Jewish books; interviews with authors, editors, librarians, and others about Jewish literature; and reports on Jewish literary events (or "the Jewish angle" at other literary events).
Whether you're a Carnival veteran or a new participant who'd like to share a recent Jewish-books post from your own blog (authors, please note that eligible blog posts ideally addresses work other than your own), we hope that you'll join us. Please read through the full guidelines on the Association of Jewish Libraries website and send your selected link to Erika Dreifus at Fig Tree Books no later than Sunday, October 11. The Carnival will post, as usual, on the 15th of the month.