Detroit Jewish Book Fair celebrates 70th anniversary

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FFrom fun secrets of magicians to serious strategies for people with autism, the 70th anniversary year of the Detroit Jewish Book Fair continues its mission to showcase a range of Jewish authors and subjects through new additions to the literary market.

Due to the pandemic, the presentations are accessible virtually.

“I always look forward to the many different authors and topics presented during the Book Fair, and in some ways Zoom makes it better for me,” said Suzanne Simon, Co-Chair.

“The presentations are all on the web after the live appearances, so I can watch them all. I don’t have to choose between sessions scheduled at the same time like I did when the show went live for two weeks instead of practically the whole year.

A look behind the curtain

Magician Joshua Jay, who regularly appears on late night talk shows, will discuss his latest book, How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Mattersat 7 p.m. on Monday, March 7.

How magicians think

Jay believes this book is one of the only truly honest accounts of his craft written for the public.

“Magicians are extremely secretive, and the few people who write books about magic for the public romanticize or twist things for personal gain,” said Jay, whose talents have been performed around the world, including during of three visits to Israel.

“This is my love letter to magic, and I think readers will get a good understanding of the creativity and hard work involved.”

Jay, who designed illusions for stage and screen with a recent television assignment game of thronesintends to expand its presentation by talking about the mystery and deception encountered in life and looks forward to answering questions from the audience.

This book fair presenter was chosen Magician of the Year 2020 by the Parents’ Assembly of the Society of American Magicians.

Learn more about living with autism

It took 50-year-old Tracey Cohen decades to be diagnosed with autism, but along the way she graduated from Berkley High School as well as the University of Michigan and spent many hours writing three books about his experiences.

Cohen’s presentation will focus on his most recent writing project, My Life on the Autism Spectrum: Misunderstandings, Insight, and Growthset for 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 27, and will be in conversation with Katie Oswald, executive director of the Full Spectrum Agency for Autistic Adults.

My Life on the Autism Spectrum

“I don’t like to reveal things about my life that are less than successful, but I believe it’s important to hear about struggles,” said Cohen, who served with the Peace Corps in Namibia. “Nobody is perfect, and it is important to move forward. I will discuss different coping strategies and resources.

Fiction lovers

Book Fair Co-Chair Brenda Brook was instrumental in choosing a presentationtation of the novel that won the National Jewish Book Award’s Goldberg Prize for First Fiction — A coin for the end of the world by Jai Chakrabarti. The author will appear for the first time at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.

A coin for the end of the world

“It’s one of my favorite books, especially since I traveled to India,” said Brook, who considers the Book Fair an important event for the community. “It’s beautifully lyrical.”

The theme is based on resilience as it moves from 1940s Warsaw to 1970s New York and rural India. At the center of the story is a children’s play and the circumstances surrounding its presentation as young people face the likelihood of brutal end-of-life conditions.

More Insider Favorites

Lauren Marcus Johnson, assistant director of cultural arts at the Jewish Community Center, talks about two choices – fiction and non-fiction – and her enthusiasm for them.

“As part of the Jewish Book Fair’s Mitten Moments program, we’re spotlighting Michigan Jewish authors like Beth Kirschner, whose novel, Split copperintroduces readers to a small Jewish community in the early 20th century mining town of Calumet in the Upper Peninsula,” Johnson said.

Split copper

“The Book Fair is thrilled to have Catherine Cangany, Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan, interview Beth as part of this dynamic virtual discussion.”

The original session is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22.

“What better time than Women’s History Month to welcome Jennifer Armstrong to talk about her new book, When Women Invented Television: The Untold Stories of the Woman Powers Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today“, Johnson said.

When Women Invented Television

“As a dynamic storyteller, Armstrong takes us through the history of American television, including the decades-long story of Betty White. Veteran local journalist Laura Berman will moderate this lively discussion.

The television presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 13.

For more information on free programs and updates from the Detroit Jewish Book Fair, go to artsculturels.jccdet.orgbookfair. Registration for each event is required through the website by clicking on the book image.

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