Preamble: Many of you are receiving this newsletter for the first time. That's because you were kind enough to stop by our booth at BookExpo America (BEA) and leave your business cards for newsletter-subscription purposes. We extend a warm welcome to you all, and we look forward to staying in touch.
Next, in case you haven't heard, we have some major news to share: We are expanding our mission beyond literary novels to include memoirs, young-adult novels, and graphic novels. If this interests you (as an agent or as an author), please be sure to read the full announcement online.
And one more quick note: Fig Tree Books will be present at the upcoming Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Silver Spring, Maryland. If you'll be there, too, please stop by our table in the exhibition area and say hello. And please look out for our author Alan Cheuse, who will be participating as per the program.
But wait—there's more! Much more. An entire issue awaits. We hope that you enjoy it.
—Erika Dreifus, Media Editor
P.S. As always, we are grateful for the opportunity to share our latest goings-on with you, and we hope that you will share this newsletter 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.)
Welcome to the World, Safekeeping!
Tuesday, June 9, was the official publication date for Fig Tree's fourth book: a gorgeous debut novel by Jessamyn Hope, Safekeeping. The book is now available for sale, in print and as an e-book.
Here are some excerpts from the wave of praise that the book has already received:
"With a sharp eye and a masterful hand, Jessamyn Hope brings to life the complex world of one Israeli kibbutz—from the troubled young volunteers to the new immigrant Russians to its old embattled Socialist founders—during a single sweltering Middle Eastern summer. Rich in history, lavish in its portrayal of place, and fueled by an exciting tale about a jewel that must be restored to its rightful owner, Safekeeping is a terrifically absorbing read by a writer who knows what she's talking about. I was hooked from the first page." —Joan Leegant, author of Wherever You Go and An Hour in Paradise
"A snapshot of a pivotal moment in the life of a community as well as a retrospective on the persecution of Jewish people throughout history, this emotional journey will leave readers with aching hearts and deepened empathy for the waifs and strays of our world." —Jaclyn Fulwood for Shelf Awareness
"This beautiful story of loss and hope sweeps artfully through 600 years of Jewish resilience. With its richly drawn, believable characters and its great sensitivity, Hope's novel is a striking debut."—Cortney Ophoff for Booklist
See for yourself! Read the novel's opening chapter online. And if you're part of a book group or club, please take a look at the discussion guide that we have created for you.
Most of all: Please join us in congratulating Jessamyn on this extraordinary achievement. (She's on Twitter: @JessamynHope.)
ICYMI (and Coming Soon!)
Over the past couple of weeks, we've had what one might call a (very) "high-quality 'problem'." It's this: We've received so much terrific attention for our books that we are certain we haven't managed to share it all. So, in case you've missed them, you'll find reviews and other enthusiastic mentions of our books—from Book Riot, Booklist, Forward, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and many excellent others—collected here on our website.
Also new on the site: Rabbi Dan Ain's insightful interview with Jonathan Papernick about Jon's The Book of Stone. You may be especially grateful for this if, somehow, you haven't managed to glimpse the indefatigable author on his multi-state book tour.
That tour, by the way, is ongoing—check out our Events page to see if Jon will be in your neighborhood anytime soon. The same page will also tell you when and where you can find our other authors. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that you can catch both Jonathan and Jessamyn Hope—in conversation with Tablet's executive editor, Wayne Hoffman, at Manhattan's Book Culture on Columbus on June 15. And you can see Jonathan, Jessamyn, and Alan Cheuse in Washington two weeks later, on June 29, when Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe hosts "An Evening of Independent Fiction with Fig Tree Books." (Again, you'll find more information on all of these happenings on our Events page.)
Welcome, Summer Intern Miranda Cooper
Those of you who met us at BEA also likely made the acquaintance of our terrific intern, Miranda Cooper. (We bet you couldn't even tell that this poised, enthusiastic young woman was literally just starting her summer job at the trade show that still overwhelms its veterans.)
Miranda is a rising senior at Williams College, where she majors in English and Jewish Studies. Through both her academic work and extracurricular research with the Jewish Studies Program, which recently awarded her the 2015 Bronfman Fellowship, she has established an avid interest in and has had the opportunity to read and write extensively on the subject of contemporary American Jewish fiction. In 2016, she will complete an honors thesis comparing American Jewish literary fiction of the postwar era to that of the 2000s and 2010s. Her extracurricular commitments at Williams include working as a Writing Workshop Tutor and serving on the editorial board of the Williams Literary Review. We are delighted to be lucky enough to be working with her this summer. You can chat with her directly on Twitter: @Adina_Chava.
A Reminder Re: the FTB Blog
Miss us between newsletters? Check in with our blog! Recently noted there: Herman Wouk's 100th birthday, which we marked with a fresh review, by Miriam Kates Lock, of Wouk's City Boy: The Adventures of Herbie Bookbinder. And we anticipated the centennial anniversary of the late Saul Bellow's birth with a similar post, pointing readers to new discussions of Bellow novels from Scott Rose, Natalia Holtzman, and Lawrence J. Epstein.
We also have a habit of sharing on our blog an assortment of online discoveries relating to American Jewish Experience (AJE), broadly defined. And you never know when you'll catch a fresh dispatch from FTB HQ.