Andy and Derek have the pleasure of talking with Miriam Libicki whose latest book, Toward a Hot Jew, was released late last year from Fantagraphics. This is a collection of various graphic essays that Miriam has written over the years, a style of writing she describes as a comics form of gonzo journalism. The guys talk with her about these various pieces and their mix of reportage, autobiography, and expository analysis. They also discuss Miriam’s autobiographical series Jobnik!, which concerns her experiences serving in the Israeli army. Most of the talk revolves around Miriam’s writing, but at times the conversation becomes more academic and speculative, in many ways reflecting the tone found throughout Toward a Hot Jew.
Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan has won acclaim for her books Exit Wounds (2007) and The Property (2013), both of which are so tightly plotted, with a number of twists and turns, that Tim and Kumar find them difficult to review spoiler-free. What’s remarkable, though, is the emotional depth in books that are so plot-driven, as well as their social commentary on Israeli society, how violence there has become banal, and the popularity of Jewish tours of Polish sites of the Holocaust. With all this going for the books, we simply have to talk about them! (With few spoilers!)
The Israeli/Palestinian situation has been in the news for as long as any of us can remember, but how much do we really understand about it? Sarah Glidden, a secular Jew, went on a “Birthright Tour” expecting confirmation of all the negative things she believed about Israel, only to find that the reality was much more complex. Sarah talks to Tim about the experience and her next career steps, and Tim and Brandon review “How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less”, Sarah’s graphic novel/memoir of her Israel visit.