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COVID, Ducks and Balak the Crazy Dog

A dream-like state. Thousands of random flashing images gradually replaced by a piercing, high frequency sine-wave and my wife’s urgent pleas to ‘wake up! Wake up! Kirk, wake up!’ After initial confusion, I realised I had passed out in the lobby of our apartment block. I remembered exiting the lift and telling my wife I […]

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‘The Plot Against America’ comes back to haunt me

I can vividly remember reading Philip Roth’s novel when it was published in 2004 and being completely gobsmacked that Charles Lindbergh was the American President. We were on holiday in Portugal in the same place we’d gone back to every year since who knows when, for a week of walking, Scrabble and reading. I can still […]

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What types of Jewish culture have you been consuming during the pandemic?

To answer this question, I return to a beginning – a discovery in graduate school where my work concentrated on the history and theories of British literature.  When we reached the twentieth century, devoid of Jewish content, it was the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen who inspired my fascination with British Jewish history and culture.  Although I found Bowen a compelling writer, it was her treatment of British antisemitism […]

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