One of my favorite phrases (okay, maybe its reached “catchphrase” status) remains “books are culture.” A simple sentence. Three words, one subject with an accompanying verb and descriptive noun; by definition it is a metaphor. Yet, its weight as a meaningful idea far surpasses its humble length. Love it or hate it, books and written words are among the most basic cornerstones of a thriving civilization. Words on page (or a billboard, or a sign, or scrawled on a building, or inked on an arm…) are a means to preserving the zeitgeist of a society or cultural identity. Words enrich ideas. Even those who adhere to such adages as “a picture is worth a thousand words” and “actions speak louder than words” might find themselves drawn to an artist’s statement at a gallery or moved by the lyrics of a song. This month of November, Louisville’s Jewish Community Center will celebrate The Book in all its glory as a preserver of heritage. The Jewish Festival of the Book kicks off tomorrow evening, November 2nd, with Lisa Baron, author of Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All. Baron and her fellow writers Jane Portnoy, Melissa Faye Greene and Myla Goldberg will promote cultural exploration through their own unique perspectives as Jewish writers.
The Jewish Festival of the Book, beginning tomorrow, will offer ticketed opportunities over the next two weeks for Louisvillians to enjoy the words and viewpoints of diverse Jewish voices. Featuring four female authors, the festival highlights writers with various backgrounds, levels of fame and ideas. The Jewish Community Center will also host a new and used book sale to provide curious readers the chance to purchase the chosen titles. Tomorrow’s headliner, Lisa Baron, will take the literary stage at 7pm in the Jewish Community Center. Touted as a funny and brazen outlook on politics and scandal, attendees interested in Baron’s book, Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All, will pay $8 for an evening of good-old-fashioned dirty laughs.
Also sharing the limelight during this festival are three other talented women. On Sunday, November 6th, Jane Portnoy will impart readings from her book, A Jewish Calendar of Festive Foods, as well as some delectable samplings from her Holiday volume of recipes. This event will be held at a private home, and 50 tickets are available for $25 each. Melissa Faye Greene will promote her book the following Tuesday, November 8th, narrating her family journey adopting five children from Bulgaria and Ethiopia over the course of only eight years. Readings from Greene’s funny and intimate account will be held at the Jewish Community Center, beginning at 8pm; tickets are on sale for $8. Rounding out the quartet, The Jewish Community Center will host Myla Goldberg on Wednesday, November 9th, author of the novel Bee Season. For $8, Goldberg will divulge the story of memory, tragedy and fateful friendship in her second book, False Friend.
Mark space in your calendar and clear some room on your shelves. Spend this November with eyes wide and ears perked for a healthy dose of culture – bound, signed and ready for the plunge.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for these events, call 459-0660
Photo: Courtesy of the Jewish Community of Louisville website www.jewishlouisville.org