New Book ‘Jewish Noir’ Serves Up a Unique Collection of Crime Stories

Jewish Noir

Digital Journal

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

New York, NY — (SBWIRE) — 10/15/2015 — Jewish Noir edited by Kenneth Wishnia (PM Press, October 2015, Trade Paperback Original, 448 pages, $17.95, 978-1-62693-111-0) is an anthology of new stories by some of today’s best-known crime writers examining the re-emergence of noir in our culture. This unique collection has stories by Jewish literary and genre writers including award-winning authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S.J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Charles Ardai and Kenneth Wishnia. There are also a few stories by non-Jewish writers, illustrating that perhaps you don’t need to be Jewish to write Jewish Noir!

The collection also features two vintage reprints, A Simkhe (A Celebration), a story first published in Yiddish in the Forverts in 1912 by one of the great-unsung writers of that era, Yente Serdatsky, who has recently been rediscovered. This will be the story’s first appearance in English. The second story, Final Shtick, was originally published in 1960 and is by the great short story writer Harlan Ellison, who has provided his current comments.

Why Jewish Noir? Because nobody’s done it yet! We live in an age which parallels many of the conditions that gave rise to the first generation of noir writers–economic insecurity, corruption at all levels of government, disillusionment with the American dream, while those responsible for it all make their millions and get away with murder. The stories in this collection explore the question of how Jewish identity produces a particular tendency toward the cynical voice of noir. They range from noirish literary to pulpier crime stories and examine a myriad of issues including:

– The Holocaust and its long-term effects on subsequent generations,

– The contradictions of ethnic identity and assimilation into American society,

– Child sexual abuse in an insular ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn,

– The disaffection and alienation from modern religious Judaism that may result from traditional sexual attitudes and gender roles,

– The violent struggle to found the State of Israel,

– Jewish support of the Civil Rights movement,

– Greedy Jewish businessmen who reinforce a negative ethnic stereotype,

– The appeal of “tough” Jewish cops and gangsters,

– How real estate fortunes are made, and the consequences of political corruption on the working poor,

– How obsession can lead “good” people to do “bad” things.

Kenneth Wishnia’s novels include 23 Shades of Black, which was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel and an Anthony Award for Best Paperback. His most recent book, The Fifth Servant, was an Indie Notable selection, a Best Jewish Book of the Year according to the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Jewish Press.

About Kenneth Wishnia
Kenneth Wishnia’s novels include 23 Shades of Black, which was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel and an Anthony for Best Paperback Original; Soft Money, a Library Journal Best Mystery of the Year; and Red House, a Washington Post Book World “Rave” Book of the Year. His short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Queens Noir, Long Island Noir, Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail, and elsewhere. His latest novel, The Fifth Servant, was an Indie Notable selection, a Best Jewish Book of the Year according to the Association of Jewish Libraries, won a Premio Letterario ADEI-WIZO (the Italian chapter of the Women’s International Zionist Organization), and was a finalist for the Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery Award, a category of the Macavity Awards. He teaches writing, literature, and other deviant forms of thought at Suffolk Community College on Long Island.

Scheduled events for Kenneth Wishnia:
Tuesday, Oct. 20: Temple Isaiah, 1404 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook, 7:30 PM

Sunday, Nov. 8: Am Hasefer Book Club, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
125 East 85th Street, bet. Park & Lexington Ave. Bring books.

Tuesday, November 10: Barnes & Noble, 7PM
Broadway at West 84th Street.

Sunday, November 15: KGB Sunday Reading Series
85 East 4th St, bet. Bowery & 2nd Ave., NYC
Arrival 6:30-6:45pm Event: 7:00pm – 9:00pm Bring books.

Tuesday, November 17: Sachem Public Library, 150 Holbrook Road, Holbrook, 7 PM

Bouchercon Oct. 8-11: Panel: “Jewish Noir,” Friday 10/9, 10 AM

BOOK SOUP in LA on Thursday, October 22nd, 7pm.

Brentwood Public Library on Saturday, October 24th at 2pm

The Book Frog on Saturday, October 24th at 5pm

BOOK CARNIVAL in Orange County on Sunday October 25th at 10:30am

Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego for Sunday, Oct 25th, 2pm or 3pm

Thursday, October 15th – Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, 7 PM

Wednesday, October 28th – Books Inc in Berkeley, 7 PM

Thursday, October 29t: Janet Rudolph Salon in Berkeley, 7 PM

Friday, October 30: Green Apple Books in San Francisco, 7 PM

Saturday, October 31: Book Passage in Corte Madera, 1 PM

Sunday, November 1: 3 – 4:30 PM plus book signing
Venue: Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek

Wednesday, Dec. 9: City Lights Bookstore, SF, 7 PM

Thursday, November 5: Brookline Booksmith in Boston, MA, 7 PM

Thurs. Nov. 12 at Houston JCC, 7 PM

Wednesday, February 24, 2016: Poisoned Pen Books, 6 PM

Feb. 25-28, 2016: Left Coast Crime. Panel TBA

Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc.
255 West 108th Street, Suite 9D1
New York, New York 10025
Office landline: 917-493-3601 [email protected]

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