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How to Spell Chanukah . . . And Other Holiday Dilemmas: Eighteen Writers Celebrate Eight Nights of Lights by [Emily Franklin]

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How to Spell Chanukah . . . And Other Holiday Dilemmas: Eighteen Writers Celebrate Eight Nights of Lights Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite a cheery title, the writers in this odd little holiday book tackle their subject-and its attendant traditions of family, guilt and, well, tradition-with ambivalence, a real sense of soul-searching and a bit of self-pity. Trying to make peace with their Chanukah memories, most of these writers are quick to point out its relative unimportance in the Jewish roster of holidays, inflated by its proximity to Christmas; still, their stories are clearly vivifying. There's a great deal of kvetching over the influence and excess of Christmas, and not just its consumerism; Jill Kargman, for example, writes about some casual mid-sermon anti-Semitism at a midnight mass. There's also solidarity to be found, as in Peter Orner's story of growing up in a family of "Christmas-tree Jews": "Let me be clear: we had no relationship with Christ beyond loving the mall like everyone else in America." Standouts include graphic artist Eric Orner's "Traditions Break," a compact and involving story about a young woman's first Chanukah alone; Joanna Smith Rakoff's "Dolls of the World," an accomplished troubled-family tale; and Josh Braff's "The Blue Team," which happily extols, "What a holiday.... No synagogue, no guilt, no mortar, and no real lesson to be absorbed and passed down to my Jewish offspring. Thank God."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Eighteen youngish writers contribute personal essays—from the snarky to the sentimental—riffing on the ancient Jewish holiday.”
The Washington Post --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B008NEZRUI
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Algonquin Books; Illustrated edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 11, 2012
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3657 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 207 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

About the author

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Emily Franklin is the author of more than twenty books including The Lioness of Boston, about the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a daring visionary who, in the late 1800s, survived tragedy and created an inimitable legacy in American art and transformed the city of Boston. Her young adult books include The Half-Life of Planets (nominated for YALSA’s Best Book of the Year) and Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom (named to the Rainbow List) and Last Night at the Circle Cinema (Junior library Guild selection/ALAN Pick). A former chef, she wrote the cookbook-memoir Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 New Recipes to chronicle a year of new foods, family meals, hilarity and heartache around the table. Her debut poetry collection, Tell Me How You Got Here, was published in 2021. Her work has been published in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Guernica among other places as well as long-listed for the London Sunday Times Short Story Award, featured on National Public Radio, and named notable by the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
15 global ratings

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