Five Leaves Publications - Jewish Interest

Latest Publications:

Are You Still Circumcised?
by Harold Rosen
ISBN: 978-1910170373, 190 pages

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A collection of autobiographical stories about growing up in the Jewish East End in the 1930s, bringing to life an immigrant generation's abrasive encounter with the anglicising power of schooling. The collection includes accounts of his Jewish Communist family's conflicts with authority, and combating fascists at the Battle of Cable Street. This edition includes a new introduction by Harold’s son, well-known poet and children’s writer Michael Rosen.

Harold Rosen was an American-born British educationalist who lived for most of his life in the UK. He was a Communist activist in the 1930s; after World War II, he became an English teacher and later a teacher trainer, and he played an important part in debates and developments in the fields of language teaching and primary education in the 1960s and 1970s.

That Precious Strand of Jewishness that Challenges Authority
by Leon Rosselson
ISBN: 978-1910170335, 28 pages

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“For my parents and grandparents, Jewish identity, in religion, culture and language, was a given. Not so for me. I'm not religious, not a Zionist, so in what consists my Jewishness? Is a love of chopped liver and a belief that chicken soup cures all ills enough? And does it matter? This is the story of my search for answers. It is an argument with myself, with song lyrics to embellish the argument.” This essay was originally presented as the 2015 Yerushah Lecture at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge at the invitation of Dr Daniel Weiss.

Leon Rosselson has been at the forefront of songwriting in Britain for over five decades. He has performed in every conceivable venue around the country and toured North America, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. He has published two songbooks and released thirteen CDs plus a 4CD box set of 72 songs spanning fifty years of songwriting. He has also had seventeen children's books published, the first of which, Rosa's Singing Grandfather, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.


From Revolution to Repression
Soviet Yiddish Writing 1917-1952
Edited by Joseph Sherman
ISBN: 978-1907869570, 260 pages

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Introduced by Gennady Estraikh (New York University)

Features original illustrations by Marc Chagall.

The thirty years between the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s destruction of Yiddish culture produced some of the best 20th century writing in Yiddish. Brilliant avant-garde work challenged the best of European modernism during the 1920s. Later Yiddish writers tried to be creative in the middle of the twists and turns of Stalin’s rule. Little of this work has been translated into English, despite many of the writers having a huge international sale in the heyday of Yiddish literature. The Soviet writers include David Bergelson, Peretz Markish and Dovid Hofshteyn.

Joseph Sherman taught at the Oriental Institute, Oxford. He
has edited a number of books on Yiddish literature and wrote
regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the Jewish
press in the USA and South Africa. He died when the book was
first close to publication and it will be launched at a meeting in
his memory.

Battle for the East End
Jewish Responses to Fascism in the 1930s
by David Rosenberg
ISBN: 978-1907869181, 268 pages

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Throughout the 1930s, Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts increased their campaign against the Jewish community, particularly in London's East End. As their campaign became more overtly anti-Semitic the Jewish community debated how to deal with the Fascist threat, building their own defence organisations, culminating in the Battle of Cable Street when more than 100,000 Jews, Irish and others came out to stop Mosley marching into the East End.

David Rosenberg leads guided walks round the East End. He has written several articles on history and current affairs for Channel 4 websites. He is a freelance contributor to the Times Educational Supplement, Time Out and New Statesman. He is an active member of the National Union of Teachers. His previous books include Daily Racism: The Press and Black People in Britain (co-authored with Paul Gordon).

Battle of Cable Street, 1936
by The Cable Street Group
ISBN: 978-1907869174, 57 pages

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This book describes the famous clash of 1936 between police and anti-fascists when Sir Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirt army attempted to march through largely Jewish Stepney in East London. 100,000 people crowded the streets, barricades were erected and the area successfully defended. The story is partly told through the voices of those who took part. The authors also examine the political, economic and social conditions of the time - and its present day legacy.

The Cable Street Group came together initially to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, publishing an early edition of this booklet, whose writers included Ruth Kelly, later Minister for Education. The group has celebrated the anniversary ever since with huge events on significant anniversaries, and the creation of the famous Mural.

Everything Happens in Cable Street
by Roger Mills
ISBN: 978-1907869198, 248 pages


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There are other histories of Cable Street apart from the famous Battle. For a while it was a red-light area, Maltese gangsters tried to run the streets, local writers set up the Basement Writers and the film, To Sir, With Love, was shot there, based on a local head teacher. Meanwhile plays, carnivals and the huge Mural continued to celebrate the Battle of 1936. Part oral history, part investigation, the other stories of Cable Street are told in an unashamedly personal style.

The book includes long forgotten posters and ephemera

Roger Mills is the author of A Comprehensive Education, and two
novels for teenagers published by HarperCollins. He has written
freelance articles about London and oral history for many
educational and other papers, including The Guardian and has
been assistant editor of Rising East - the journal of East London
studies. He has been involved in activities around Cable
Street since the 1970s.

October Day
by Frank Griffin
ISBN: 978-1907869150, 229 pages


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October Day is an extraordinary novel about an extraordinary event. It is a novel about the Battle of Cable Street, when 100,000 Londoners took to the streets on 4 October 1936 to prevent Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists marching through the Jewish East End.

First published less than three years after the event, the central chapters of October Day are a vivid eye-witness record of a famous victory in the history of British anti-fascism.

The late Frank Griffin wrote a documentary on the life of a British
solder in the 1930s, which caused a national scandal. After the war
he wrote for socialist and trade union papers (and the News of the
World!). He also wrote a dozen thrillers and a book for teenagers.

Introduction by Andy Croft, author of books on the 1930s including Red Letter Days

Street of Tall People
by Alan Gibbons
ISBN: 978-1907869235, 121 pages

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Set in the East End of London in 1936, this is the story of an unlikely friendship between a Jewish and a Gentile boy during the upsurge of fascist violence led by Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts.

Jimmy lives in a tenement with his newly widowed mother; Benny comes from a large Orthodox Jewish family. The discovery that Jimmy's mother's new friend Mr Searle is a Blackshirt places Jimmy in an agonizing dilemma. A vivid and compelling story that raises issues with many parallels today.

Alan Gibbons is the author of more than fifty books for older children and young adults. His many awards include the Blue Peter Book Award, Catalyst Award, Leicester Book Award, Stockport Book Award, Angus Book Award, Birmingham Chills Award, Salford KS4 Book of the Year, Salford Special Award, Hackney Short Novels Award. He has undertaken hundreds of school visits here and overseas.

His books include: Shadow of the Minotaur, The Edge, Caught in the Crossfire, the Booked Up choice The Dying Photo and the non-fiction picture book Darwin. He is the organiser of the Campaign for the Book.

The Liberation of Celia Kahn
by J. David Simons
ISBN: 978-1907869037, 272 pages


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Glasgow 1915. Set against the background of rent strikes, anti-war
sentiment and a revolution brewing in Russia, a young Jewish woman
from the Gorbals gains her first taste for protest and female solidarity.
But it is her own brutal rape that galvanises her even further as she
campaigns to introduce birth control to the women of the city.
Distraction comes with a love affair exposing her to the prospect of a
new life in communal settlements taking root in British-mandate
Palestine. This novel is not only about a young woman trying to find her way in the world of men, but also a story of the new world for women opened up by socialism and contraception.

J. David Simons’ first novel was shortlisted for the Society of Authors’
McKitterick Prize. He was awarded a Writer’s Bursary from Scottish
Arts Council (Creative Scotland) to assist in the writing of The
Liberation of Celia Khan. He has worked as a lawyer and as a journalist, living in Australia, Japan and elsewhere, before returning to Glasgow to become a full-time writer.

The Credit Draper
by J. David Simons
ISBN: 978-1907869020, 350 pages


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Avram Escovitz dreams of playing football for Celtic, but war
intervenes. He leaves the tightly knit Jewish community in the
Gorbals in Glasgow to work as a credit draper, peddling goods
on credit to the crofters and villagers of the West Highlands.
This very original debut novel is a book about a stranger in a
strange land, but also about whisky, football and waterproof
clothing. And romance across the cultural divide.

The Credit Draper was shortlisted for the Society of Authors'
McKitterick Prize. J. David Simons was awarded a Writer's
Bursary from Scottish Arts Council (Creative Scotland) to assist
in the writing of The Liberation of Celia Khan. He has worked as a lawyer and as a journalist, living in Australia, Japan and elsewhere, before returning to Glasgow to become a full-time writer.

40 Years in the Wilderness - A tour of Israeli settlements in occupied land
by Josh Freedman Berthoud and Seth Freedman
ISBN: 978-1905512904, 240 pages

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The Israeli settlements are one of the most contentious issues – if not the most contentious issue – in the Middle East. President Obama calls for them to stop, the Palestinians say a halt is essential for the peace process, but the Israeli government continues to build them. The authors of this book travel from settlement to settlement talking to the settlers, the original settlers, ideological settlers and those who are simply looking for cheap housing, those who would move if they had to, those who say they will never move. They speak to native born Israelis, immigrants from countries ranging from America to Ethiopia, from the ultra-Orthodox to secular.

Josh Freedman Berthoud has written for the Observer, The Independent, Evening Standard and the Jewish Chronicle. He has appeared on political shows on the BBC and the Iranian Press TV.

Seth Freedman is a contracted journalist for the Guardian
Comment is Free. His first book, Can I Bring My Own Gun? An
Israeli soldier’s story, was Time Out’s Book of the Week and was
jointly published by the Guardian and Five Leaves. He is also the
author of Binge Trading: the real inside story of cash, cocaine and
corruption in the City (Penguin).

by Charles Reznikoff
ISBN: 978-1905512638, 96 pages


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Introduction by George Szirtes, winner of the TS Eliot poetry prize

Reznikoff’s subject is one people’s suffering at the hand of another. His source materials are the U.S. government’s record of the trials of the Nazi criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal and the transcripts of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.

Except for the twelve part titles, none of the words here are Reznikoff’s own: instead he has created, through selection, arrangement, and the rhythms of the testimony set as verse on the page, a poem of witness by the perpetrators and the survivors of the Holocaust themselves. He lets the terrible history unfold – in history’s own words.

"…Reznikoff is the quintessential poet of New York City and one of the key figures in Jewish-American poetry. A writer of astonishing insight and unsurpassable charm, his poems endeavour to make visible much that usually goes unnoticed." - Publisher’s Weekly USA

"When we come to the end of Holocaust we want to find a place to be sick…No poet has ever written a book so nakedly shocking… One marvels at the courage Reznikoff must have drawn upon to write it."
- Anne Stevenson

"His Auschwitz was not… William Styron's "fatal embolism in the bloodstream of mankind," but a real place where men and women lived and died without witnesses, and mourners." - Sylvia Rothchild

Charles Reznikoff was born August, 1894, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants who fled the pogroms that followed the assassination of Alexander II. He was a blood-and-bone New Yorker, a collector of images and stories who walked the city from Bronx to Battery and breathed the soul of the Jewish immigrant experience into a lifetime of poetry. He died in 1976; one year after this book was first published in the USA.

The Sea of Azov
by Anne Joseph
ISBN: 978-1905512607, paperback, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1905512614, hardback,
240 pages

£9.99 / £14.99
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New fiction by Ali Smith, Jon McGregor, Tamar Yellin, Richard Zimler, Amy Bloom, Nicole Krauss, Karen Maitland, Etgar Keret, Eshkol Nevo, Michelene Wandor, Tania Hershman, Jonathan Wilson, Zvi Jagendorf, Shaun Levin, Ellen Galford.

Stories of betrayal and fear, desire and satisfaction, love, grief and revenge.

“And so I read these stories certain that I would find connections between them and there are plenty. Whispers and shadows abound. The dark menace lurking in the best fairy tales is never far from the surface in most of these stories, too. All the contributors, whatever differences in age, gender or geographical location, are trying to make sense of the brutal century from which we have emerged and the uncertain one into which we are still tentatively trespassing, not ready to claim ownership. Some seem to have sought connections to dead relatives who live on in memory or genetic inheritance.” - From the introduction by Anne Sebba, author of Jennie Churchill: Winston’s American Mother.

"The dark menace lurking in the best fairy tales is never far from the surface in most of these stories." - Anne Sebba

Anne Joseph is a freelance feature writer and editor. She previously worked for several years as submissions editor for Haus Publishing. Her book, From the Edge of the World (2003, Vallentine Mitchell), is a collection of letters and stories written by Jewish refugees. The Sea of Azov was the birthplace of Chekhov – the master of the short story
The Chaste Wife
by Elia R. Karmona, translation: Michael Alpert
ISBN: 978-1905512669 , 187 pages

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A rare translation from a forgotten language and culture

Ladino is a Romantic language derived from Old Spanish. As a Jewish language, it is influenced heavily by Hebrew and Aramaic, and other languages where Sephardic expellees settled around the world, primarily throughout the Ottoman Empire. The Ladino novel was a new form of literature for the Ladino-speaking populations of the Balkans, Greece, Turkey and Palestine, which appeared towards the end of the 19th century and died out towards 1930 as its reading public declined.

Elia Karmona’s La Mujer Onesta (The Chaste or Faithful Wife), published in Constantinople in 1925 is one of roughly a dozen Ladino novels in the British Library’s collection. La Mujer Onesta is superior in literary worth to the average Ladino novel, many of which were translations and adaptations of foreign romantic works.

A bilingual edition in Ladino and English. There is a renewed interest in Ladino with its music and history being performed and studied.

Ladino literature has rarely been republished in accessible editions, originals being difficult to find and existing in archives

Elia Karmona was a typographer, journalist and editor of the comic paper El Djugueton (Constantinople). He wrote around 60 novelettes and novels, published in Cairo, Jerusalem and Constantinople. Michael Alpert is the author of Secret Judaism and the Spanish Inquisition, also published by Five Leaves. Price: £14.99.
Can I Bring My Own Gun?
by Seth Freedman
Published with The Guardian
ISBN: 978-1905512645, 240 pages

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Seth Freedman is a writer living in Jerusalem. He grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb and worked in the City for six years, before moving to Israel.

He served for fifteen months in a combat unit of the IDF, between 2004 and 2006, and has worked as a writer ever since. He writers for Current TV and First Post as well as The Guardian.

"Seth Freedman bring(s) the real lives of the people behind the headlines into sharp focus. Curious and opinionated… prepared to go where no other journalist ventures: into the Israeli settlements where lies the solution (or not) to the conflict." - Linda Grant, Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction

"Seth Freedman's blog from Jerusalem has become an instant must-read for those who follow this most intractable of conflicts. His mixture of close-up, eye-witness reporting and heartfelt polemic is intoxicating. He is one writer to watch." - Jonathan Freedland, Guardian journalist and novelist

Seth Freedman reports from the front line of Israel and Palestine, and behind the lines. As a former Israeli soldier reporting from the West Bank he is unique. From soldier to peace activist, this book follows the author’s journey.

Seth Freedman is a contracted journalist on the Guardian’s Comment is Free, his reports are followed, praised and condemned in equal measure, by tens of thousands of readers.

Jews and Sex
edited by Nathan Abrams
ISBN: 978-1905512348, 240 pages

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"Go forth and multiply" was the fist commandment in the Bible. From King David to (porn star) Ron Jeremy, Jews have taken an interest in sex. But what do we know about the relationship between Jews and sex?

This collection of essays by academics from Britain and other European countries, North and South America, Israel and Australia makes a start in finding out.

Subjects include:

Jews in pornography and the adult film industry
Sexual propaganda
Woody Allen
“The Bride of God”: erotic theology
Homosexuality and Judaism
A century of sex on the Jewish stage
Lesbian Yiddish poetry
The Jewish American Princess
Sex and the British Jewish novel
Jews in prostitution and the white slave trade
Sex and art
… and many more

Nathan Abrams lectures in film at the University of Wales, Bangor.
His previous books include: 'Containing America; cultural production and comsumption in 50s America' (Continuum); 'Commentary Magazine 1945-1959' (Vallentine Mitchell); and 'Studying Film' (Arnold).
Secret Judaism & the Spanish Inquisition
by Michael Alpert
ISBN: 978 1905512294, 260 pages

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From the end of the fifteenth century until the 18th century Spanish Jews carried on Jewish practices in the shadow of the Inquisition. Those caught were forced to recant or be burnt at the stake in public “autos de fe”. This book describes the private lives of these secret Jews, drawing on their confessions and trial documents. This paperback edition covers the fate of the Crypto-Jews into modern times in Portugal and Spain, where traces still exist and families still carry out long-hidden Jewish traditions.

"Michael Alpert is to be congratulated on producing a book that is both scholarly and accessible. Not only does he interpret and bring to life the Inquisition files but he reveals with compassion the final years and months... of the Inquisition's victims..." - Sephardi Bulletin

"...a succinct and well-written survey.....detached and objective....wide-ranging and must be stressed that this is an important book covering many topics, rooted in wide-ranging study and direct archival research..." - Jewish Historical Studies

Michael Alpert is Emeritus Professor of the Modern and Contemporary History of Spain at the University of Westminster). His other books include the Penguin Classic ‘Two Spanish Picaresque Novels' and 'A New International History of the Spanish Civil War'. He writes regularly for Spanish popular history magazines on all sorts of historical subjects.

by Frederic Raphael
ISBN: 1905512015, 364 pages

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In 1942, an unseaworthy ship crammed with refugees bound for Palestine sinks, the result of British and Turkish officialdom. Jacob Lindmann, one of only two survivors, becomes the central character in this haunting novel.

Twenty years on Lindmann lives in a ramshackle boarding house. He remains detached from his surroundings and past until circumstances combine to shatter his personality. The resulting shock touches the other characters in the book, but, most profoundly, the stunned and disturbed reader. Raphael's novel dramatises universal themes of guilt, responsibility and love.

"This is an uncomfortable novel with plenty to say, a violent sting in the tale, and individual vision, and the hectic style of a man whose concerns, passions and humours are almost more than the language can bear." - Sunday Times

"More impressive than any (novel) I have read for a long time"
- The Guardian

"Arresting, disturbing and impressive" - Spectator

"...Lindmann is on a grand scale. It is frank, almost brutal, in its probing into human motives." - Daily Telegraph

“Exciting… powerful… vivid!" - Times Literary Supplement

"A very ambitious novel indeed... his prose fairly crackles with energy" - New Statesman

Frederic Raphael has been publishing novels since 1956. His best known novel is Glittering Prizes. His memoirs include A Spoilt Boy, non-fiction includes Some Talk of Alexander. Raphael was the screenwriter for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and is a regular contributor to the broadsheet press

Lindmann includes a new introduction by Neal Sokol, a writer for the American Forward.
The World is a Wedding
by Bernard Kops
ISBN: 978-1905512331, 244 pages

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A welcome re-issue of Bernard Kops’ autobiography of his early years in London’s East End through to his emergence as a major writer in Soho in the 1950s through to his drug-induced madness in the 1960s.

"The best East-end autobiography for many years. Kops allows life to flow over him, never losing his sense of sheer delight, in its size, its possibilities and its outragiousness." - The Guardian

"Brutal, grim, factual, but the mind that interprets is unfailingly dramatic, and exalts a most horrible history into a fantastical rhapsody." - New York Times

"A writer of outstanding talent" - Sunday Times

Bernard Kops celebrated his 80th birthday with a new BBC Radio 4 play and the launch of Bernard Kops’ East End last year.

Five Leaves is pleased to re-issue his autobiography, which will be accompanied by a variety of launch events in London and Manchester, and appearances at Jewish Book Week events.
Reporting from Palestine
by Barbara Board
ISBN: 978-1905512324 , 200 pages

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Reporting from Palestine is a unique book.

Barbara Board (1915-1986) was a rare woman foreign correspondent, from the age of 20 she reported from Sudan, Egypt and the Middle East.

Newsgirl in Palestine was published in 1937, and her Newsgirl in Egypt followed a year later – resulting in her being expelled from Egypt. This – her third book – was stopped because of Government war censorship then post-war paper shortages, and has lain forgotten until now.

Reporting from Palestine was written from the front line of the conflict between Jews and Arabs, Zionists and non-Zionists and Jews and the British Mandate Government. Barbara Board was there when the bombs went off, reporting mainly for the Daily Mirror.

Barbara Board interviewed everyone she could find – supporters and opponents of the Jewish underground armies, Arab landlords and peasants, Armenian and Christian minorities, refugees and British servicemen.

If Salt Has Memory
edited by Jennifer Langer
ISBN: 978-1905512362, 400 pages

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If Salt Has Memory comprises essays, memoir and fiction by Jewish writers in exile from many lands – contributors include the former leader of the Tupamaros guerrillas in Uruguay, a French philosopher from Tunisia, political activists from Zimbabwe, Iran, Argentina and writers from Yemen, Bosnia, Cuba, Poland and South Africa.

The anthology is particularly strong on Jewish writers in exile from Iraq – several essays are translated from Arabic – Iran and South America.

Contributors include:
Andre Aciman: author of Out of Egypt
Eli Amir: author of Farewell, Baghdad
Ariel Dorfman: writer of the play Death and the Maiden
Moris Farhi: author of Children of the Rainbow
Naim Kattan: author of Farewell Babylon
Sami Michael: author of Trumpet in the Wadi
Gillian Slovo: author of the Orange Prize short-listed Ice Road
George Szirtes: winner of the TS Eliot prize for poetry
and other writers published internationally

This book is not directly connected to the Holocaust, but reveals another layer of Jewish exile – political and literary refugees from many lands.

Jennifer Langer is the organiser of Exiled Writers Ink – the main organisation of refugee writers, based in London. She is the daughter of refugee parents and the editor of three previous Five Leaves collections by refugee and exiled writers.
Dockers and Detectives
by Ken Worpole
ISBN: 978-1905512379, 120 pages

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Long unavailable but in demand, this pioneering study of twentieth-century working class reading and writing in Britain helped revive a number of literary reputations, such as those of Alexander Baron and James Hanley, as well as distinguishing distinct regional literary cultures and narrative styles still existing in Britain.

Dockers and Detectives comprises five long linked chapters on:

● literature and politics
● American influences on popular fiction
● popular literature during WWII
● the novels of working class writers from Liverpool
● the novels of the Jewish East End

Dockers and Detectives was Ken Worpole’s first book, and was widely reviewed and praised on publication.

Ken Worpole is the author of a number of books on architecture, landscape and social history, including Last Landscapes and Here Comes the Sun. He writers regularly for the Guardian, Prospect, Times Higher Education Supplement and other papers.

"For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape." - The Independent
Bernard Kops’ East End
by Bernard Kops
ISBN: 1905512112, 240 pages

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Bernard Kops is one of the best-known playwrights of his time. He achieved recognition with his first play The Hamlet of Stepney Green, which has been performed worldwide. He has subsequently written more than forty plays for stage and radio, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two volumes of autobiography. His Dreams of Anne Frank tours constantly.

Bernard Kops is still writing, receiving a major award from the Arts Council to develop a new play.

Bernard Kops' East End comprises extracts from several of his East End plays, fragments of memoir, extracts from novels. The book includes "Returning we hear the larks": a short play about Isaac Rosenberg.

"If Wesker began as the realist Edward Hopper of British Jewish theatre, Bernard Kops was and remains its dreamlike Chagall. His Hamlet of Stepney Green brought another vernacular East End voice to the stage, not unlike the Jewish voices that Jack Rosenthal was getting on to British television." - The Times

"Kops allows life to flow over him, never losing his sense of sheer delight." - The Guardian

"A writer of outstanding talent" - Sunday Times

"Essential reading" - Mike Leigh

"I am interested in the man Kops I like Kops" - Eugene Ionesco

"Aboundingly honest, aboundingly alive" - TLS
Choose Your Frog
by Harold Rosen
ISBN: 090712335X, 160 pages

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In these poems a lot is being said through animals, rather than just about them. There’s politics too, sometimes oblique, sometimes direct. There is a strong theme of the encounter between urban East End Jew and the countryside, when once the encounters with animals were only with skinny dogs in Club Row or the eel stall in Hoxton Street Market.

Harold Rosen is Emeritus Professor at the University of London School of Education where, as a teacher and researcher, he was concerned with the teaching of English and language in education. His most recent publications include Are You Still Circumcised? This collection of autobiographical stories, published by Five Leaves, was described in the Times Educational Supplement as "for anyone who’s ever used language or been a child".
East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914
by William J Fishman
ISBN: 0907123457, 340 pages

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East End Jewish Radicals is essential reading for anyone interested in Victorian and Edwardian London or the history of the Jewish community in London, labour history and the history of immigration to this country.

Professor William Fishman describes London’s East End at a time of mass immigration from Eastern Europe to the shabby tenements of Stepney and Whitechapel. He describes the spread of libertarian and socialist ideals among the Jewish community culminating in the great strikes of 1889 and 1912. East End Jewish Radicals is published is republished for a new audience perhaps unaware of this forgotten part of London’s history.

"Brilliantly chronicled" - AJP Taylor

"An extraordinary period described by an inspired storyteller" - Arnold Wesker

"An immensely readable work, it should attract a large and enthusiastic audience" - Paul Avrich

William (Bill) Fishman is the chronicler of London’s East End. His other books include The Streets of East London and East End 1888. The son of an immigrant tailor, Fishman is a visiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London and has held visiting professorships at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin. Now retired, he regularly leads East End walks and lectures on East End subjects including Jack the Ripper.
False Relations
by Michelene Wandor
ISBN: 0907123201, 160 pages

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Michelene Wandor’s new collection of short stories ranges from Biblical to modern, from Renaissance Italy to present day Israel, and from the power of music to its dangers. Her poetic and dramatic skills infuse her stories with vivid voices and haunting characters. Henry VIII and Isabella d’Este enjoy a clandestine encounter; a modern retelling of the Book of Esther liberates the voice of Queen Vashti; today’s musicians encounter the old myths of Orpheus; and the dilemmas of being Jewish are poignantly traced through the European diaspora into the cross-cultural crises of the Middle East.

Michelene Wandor is a poet, playwright, musician and critic, as well as a prolific writer of short stories. Her dramatisation of Eugene Sue’s The Wandering Jew was staged at the National Theatre. She won an International Emmy for her adaptation of The Belle of Amherst for Thames TV. She teaches creative writing at London Metropolitan University. Her selected poems, Gardens of Eden Revisited, are published by Five Leaves.

Five Leaves Short Stories by Women.

Flood Warning
by Berta Freistadt
ISBN: 0907123945, --- pages

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Flood Warning is about the melancholy and madness of love. It celebrates different aspects of woman, lover, child, friend and, in her most dangerous aspect, the moon.

Part two works on questions of identity, the making of community and the struggle of a London Jew to understand the war in Israel.

"These poems explore loving women: the risks, passions and sensuality play across the page. From moonstruck, magical and whimsical flood warning, to cautionary tales, celebratory, lustful, romantic and everyday. And also poems interrogating an easy belonging." - Dorothea Smartt

"Berta Freistadt's poems are passionate yet full of precise observations. In their haunting images she takes the reader to the places of her soul." - Peter Daniels Luczinski

"... awash with witches and bad girls...There's a wonderful energy at work... I love the frankness of these poems." - Poetry London

Berta Freistadt is a Londoner of mixed heritage. Her poetry is published in anthologies, magazines and journals in the UK, Israel and the States and can also be seen somewhere on a London bus.
For Generations: Jewish Motherhood
edited by Mandy Ross & Ronne Randall
ISBN: 0907123643, 332 pages

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Chicken soup goddess? Kvetch-monster? Or just a Jewish mother raising children in the real world?

For Generations' writers explore the experience of Jewish motherhood, across the spectrum, from the religious to the secular Jewish communities. The editors do not take sides, allowing individual writers their own voice. Whether in the Diaspora or in Israel, maintaining tradition or creating new ritual, here is Judaism in all its diversity being handed on from one generation to the next.


Fiction from: Sidura Ludwig, Grace Paley, Mandy Ross, Anne Sebba and Michelene Wandor

Poetry from Lucy Abrahams and Rosalind Preston

Julia Bard on bringing up secular Jewish children
Rebecca Bender on not having children
Sally Berkovic on being a religious and feminist mother
Isobel Braidman writes to her children
Sarah Ebner welcomes her new daughter
Angela English on Jewish mothers on film
Shirly Eran - a Jewish mother in Israel
Berta Freistadt - a woman unsown
Masha Gesson on inherited bad genes
Sara Goodman debates circumcision
Michele Hanson on hearts and bowels
Ann Harris on conversion
Kitty Hart on surviving Auschwitz with her mother
Brenda Heller on a difficult birth
Rabbi Margaret Jacobi on mothers in the Talmud
Batya Jacobs as a pioneer
Ann Joseph on adoptive Jewish motherhood
Susie Kaufman on going back to her Orthodox community
Shana Mauer has some grievances from the women's section
Rachel Montagu on mothers in the Hebrew Bible
Rabbi Marcia Plumb on creating new rituals
Ronne Randall on becoming a mother in mid-life
Mandy Ross on mothers in Islam and Christianity
Sibyl Ruth on being an undercover Jewish mother
Lisa Saffron on lesbian parenting
Ayala Ronen Samuels gives a feminist reading of biblical stories
Beatrice Sayers on mixed faith relationships
Marlene Schmool on children opting out of Judaism
Ruth Shire on modern Jewish motherhood
Elly Stanton seeks a man of worth
Anna Sullivan on letting go
Elana Maryles Sztokman between her daughter's world and her own
Anna Sullivan on daughters becoming religious
Nadia Valman on literary representations of the Jewish mother
Karen Worth welcomes her new son
Sheva Zucker on motherhood in Yiddish poetry
Rafeket Zohar on mothers and the kibbutz

Soup: cover illustration "Making Soup" by Anita Klein (; chicken soup recipe by Ronne Randall.

Mandy Ross has worked as an editor for various children's publishers and now works freelance, editing educational publications. She grew up in Manchester and now lives in Birmingham where she is a member of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue.

Ronne Randall has worked in publishing for more than thirty years and in now a freelance editor and children's writer. She was born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York and now lives in Nottingham, England.
Gardens Of Eden Revisited
by Michelene Wandor
ISBN: 0907123333, 160 pages

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"...a gossipy irresistible send-up of the Old Testament" - Vogue

"Michelene Wandor demonstrates her tremendous versatility as a writer. Strong on dialogue, the conversations between Eve, Lilith and God are compelling, witty and wise" - Poetry Quarterly Review

Valerie Miner has written ten previous books published by literary, academic and women’s presses in the USA and the UK. Several of these stories have been broadcast on Radio 4, others published in The Berkeley Fiction Review, Gargoyle and other journals. This is her first book for Five Leaves.

Lilith to Eve

I merely said 'no'.

That's when he gave me
his attention
for the first time

Fire and Ice: the world turned upside down (extract)


Today the world is turned upside down
today autumn creeps between stone and leaf
today I am haunted by a memory
a memory of carnival
a memory of May creeping between leaf and stone
into October

I remember Bacchus, the God of wine, riding through the city
on a cart drawn by white panthers
I remember a wedding with a bear as the groom
a fish buried with full military honours
a horse galloping backwards

I remember cities in the sky
the sun and moon turning cartwheels in the piazza
I remember the world turned upside down

I remember carnival

Michelene Wandor is a playwright, musician, broadcaster and critic

I Could Become That Woman
by Sibyl Ruth
ISBN: 0907123546, 33 pages

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I Could Become That Woman celebrates desire and the way it disrupts our lives, turning friends into lovers, partners into parents. The poems weave a world where identity is constantly re-created as the imagination hijacks confession, as fantasy and memory collide.

Sibyl Ruth's first collection of poems, Nothing Personal, was published by Iron Press and her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. She was the Poet Laureate in Birmingham, where she lives, working at the Midland Arts Centre. Some of her other poems appeared in an earlier Five Leaves' publication, The Dybbuk of Delight: an anthology of Jewish women's poetry. Sibyl Ruth has a German-Jewish mother and a Welsh father.

Full House
Surrounded by stubborn furniture,
all yours.

Double-sided bookcases,
stacks of little tables.
Oak cabinets, sideboards, cupboards.
The uncomfortable chaise longue,
an out-of-tune piano.

Pieces glower from every corner.
Obstructing windows,
they cast odd shadows,
darken doorways.

There's plenty of room, you say.
I could make the occasional gesture with a duster.
Be more accommodating.

While they graze my shins for fun
snag sleeves, tweak fingernails,
nip my vulnerable toes.
And they won't be moved.

I'd imagined owning less.
Somewhere unvarnished, uninsured
--- bare walls and floors,
with wind chimes, maybe lanterns.
Stars looking down on a shared emptiness.

"Sibyl Ruth is a powerful and engaging poet. She has a marvellous ear for the ironies of day to day life and a natural sympathy with outsiders." - Jonathan Davidson

"She has Carol Ann Duffy's ability to choose every word of the maximum resonance, but there is a tender, quiet note here too."
- Angela Topping

"....when she hits the right note, she does it magnificently, as in Baxter or Night Feed. She has that ability to use just the right words, as in True Confessions, where she captures the awkwardness of first sexual contact exactly right and with a dark humour: "In bed she can’t say what she’d like./He doesn’t know where to put himself"
- Seam
Last Hour of Sleep
edited by Naomi Jaffa
ISBN: 0907123740, 32 pages

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The invigorating poems in The Last Hour of Sleep introduce a daughter, sister and woman awakening to her past and her present passions. With honesty and panache they celebrate the complexities of her sometimes difficult relationships with places, horses and people.


but I might persuade myself
that I’d definitely still fancy you
rotten, if only you’d have
a good wash, perhaps slosh
a dash of Givenchy,
install a power shower even.
Then maybe we’d stand
an outside chance
of staying together
longer than an instant coffee
in the morning
which is already
looking much too far ahead.
Basically I’d really like it
if you were gone
now, out of my bed,
back to wherever it was
you said you lived.
Was it Highgate?
And I’d be very grateful
if you never showed up
at work on Monday
as the office equipment
salesman (who still looks
just like that actor)
who I lusted after
for the whole of last week
because of an Irish accent
and a name like Gabriel.


As far as I know he never even liked it here
but quite suddenly, after staying away almost nine years,
my father is back to visit me in Kerala, South India
— in the middle of night (as you’d expect) but also
during the afternoons around teatime, riding
the same airhorn-blasting hot and dusty trains.
And he seems to like to call especially before breakfast,
during that last hour of sleep in hotel bedrooms.
He looks about sixty, but to be truthful, to date him
accurately, I’d have to compare him with the photos.
Definitely he’s much happier.
Just the other morning he arrived, shorter
than me as usual, and swept me off my feet,
lifted me right off the ground and hugged me
for no reason. Put me down! I’m much too heavy.
Put me down! You’ll break. But he didn’t
and he doesn’t and my toes never touched
our old-gold, top-floor landing carpet.
He fills out his trousers again and his cheeks
are back to normal: fat, tanned, glistening and clean-shaven.
I kiss him and kiss him, inhale that mix
of Gillette foam and Floris’ Rose Geranium.
And all the time he dizzies me with smiles.

"Naomi Jaffa’s poems - intimate, sensuous, sensual - have the vivid texture of real life. Her bold use of the domestic, the ordinary, illuminates often disturbing or ambivalent emotion. She writes brilliantly about adolescence, a certain daddy’s girl rebelliousness. Here are nakedly and exuberantly female poems which conjure sexuality, memory, longing, grief and pack many a shock of emotion."
- Liz Lochhead

Naomi Jaffa grew up in London and Scarborough. With family roots in Russia and Germany, her Jewish parents were both professional musicians. Since 1991 Naomi has lived in East Anglia, working initially as Suffolk’s Literature Development Worker. For the past five years she has been director of the annual international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. This is her first collection.
The London Years
by Rudolf Rocker
ISBN: 0907123309, 304 pages

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includes a new introduction by Colin Ward

The London Years is the autobiography of a remarkable man and a window into a long-forgotten world.

Rudolf Rocker was a German Catholic who moved to London to became the acknowledged leader of the Yiddish-speaking Jewish anarchists. Rocker introduced this mass movement to world literature, lecturing on Shakespeare, Cervantes and Tolstoy; organised demonstrations of up to 25,000 against the contemporary Russian pogroms, edited Yiddish political and cultural journals; set up properly instituted Jewish trade unions.

Rocker established the Jewish Bakers’ union in a community action where housewives would only buy bread with a union label. In 1912 he organised a famous general strike of Jewish tailors which abolished the sweatshop system. This happened at a time of mass immigration by impoverished Jews, who were persecuted by a right-wing press and an 'anti-alien' movement which brought in the first anti-immigration controls. The London Years chronicles this vanished world.

The Jewish anarchist movement came to an end in 1914, Rocker was arrested as an 'enemy alien' and his journals were closed down. After the war Rocker was active in the ferment of Weimer Germany before leaving for the USA where he was active in the Jewish anarchist movement until his death in 1958. In the USA Rocker was mainly involved with the Yiddish anarchist magazine Frei Arbeter Shtimme which lasted until the 1970s and whose adherents included the young Noam Chomsky.
Magnolia Street
by Louis Golding
ISBN: 1905512007, 600 pages


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Magnolia Street was an instant success on its first publication in 1932, running to many editions. Available again for a new generation.

Magnolia Street is a novel on a grand scale, reminiscent of Arnold Bennett in its invocation of place and time.

The book describes “the crowded years” between 1910 and 1930, and the difficult relations between immigrant Jews and their English neighbours.

Themes of conflict and assimilation facing migrant and host are still current.

Louis Golding was one of Britain’s best selling writers in the 30s and 40s and was popular into the 1950s. He wrote over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction, including on boxing, haute cuisine and politics.

Magnolia Street became a play and was later made into a TV film.

Introduced by Hugh Cecil, author of Imperial Marriage, Clever Hearts and several other biographies and works on WW1.
Passionate Renewal
edited by Peter Lawson
ISBN: 0907123732, 100 pages

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They rose to a passionate renewal
And I must serve their freedoms with my own

A.C Jacobs ('In Early Spring')

Passionate Renewal is the first anthology celebrating the poetry of British Jews. The book is a major collection, containing substantial numbers of poems by each contributor. The twenty poets write on Jewish and universal subjects.

British Jewish poets have achieved major influence within the poetry world since 1945. This history includes Emanuel Litvinoff’s famous attack on T.S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism; Philip Hobsbaum’s “Group” from the 1960s; Michael Horovitz bringing thousands to hear “poetry of the underground”, his passion being shared by Jeremy Robson. Jon Silkin edited Stand for over forty years; Michael Rosen is one of the best selling poets for children; Daniel Weissbort (with Ted Hughes) set up Modern Poetry in Translation. Michael Hamburger, A.C. Jacobs and others made their name as translators. Elaine Feinstein, George Szirtes, Ruth Fainlight and Dannie Abse are major figures on the poetry circuit. As well as having their own collections, Gerda Mayer, Lotte Kramer and Karen Gershon have been widely anthologised. Many contributors are admired in other fields: criticism; biography; fiction; and, in Bernard Kops case, play writing. Among recent voices, Richard Burns, Jonathan Treitel and Joanne Limburg are becoming well-known, the latter being short-listed for the Forward prize for the best first collection.

"This newly published collection is a joy… and you don't have to be a 'literary' person to appreciate it." - Alonim

"The act of gathering these (poets) together reveals the importance of Jewish writers to a wider British tradition, both as poets, but also as translators, and communicators with the wider world. This is an important and revealing anthology." - Poetry Book Society Bulletin

"…a fine anthology" - Jewish Socialist

"Lawson's publishers are to be congratulated on publishing such a well-produced, sturdily bound and very reasonably priced volume. Passionate Renewal should be in every home and library that collects poetry." - Professor William Baker, Northern Illinois University

"Fifty-five years seperate the oldest from the youngest poet which makes a gratifying sense of an evolving, dynamic tradition and the possibility that Passionate Renewal may be a groundbreaking publication in the service of that tradition." - Nottingham Evening Post

"The quality is extremely high and, in addition to its appeal to readers with a special interest in judaica, well deserves a wider audience." - Manifold

"I would like to go on commenting on much more in this generous and fine gathering of poems - on those by Weissbort, Mayer, Kops and Szirtes (another I was unaware was Jewish) - but space is not endless in a magazine. Read the book, it's worth it." - Acumen

"...the editor, Peter Lawson, has been meticulous in his research, finding poems from books and pamphlets long out of print... you don't have to be addicted to gefilte fish and salt beef to enjoy this anthology of 2001." - Ham & High Books of the Year

"A Jewish Eisteddfod" - Association of Jewish Refugees Journal

Published in association with the European Jewish Publication Society

A Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.

Peter Lawson researches and teaches poetry at Southampton University. He writes regularly for the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Quarterly.
Rock 'n' Roll Jews
by Michael Billig
ISBN: 0907123538, 164 pages

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"This book is endlessly fascinating... Doc Pomus and Jerry Wexler, Leiber and Stoller, Alan Freed and Bert Berns, Phil Spector and Carole King, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Lou Reed: we've always known that Jews played a central part in the history of rock - as songwriters and composers and producers as well as managers and businessmen. What Michael Billig does which is quite new is to wonder - why were Jews so important in shaping rock 'n' roll? With what consequences? Rock 'n' Roll Jews makes us rethink popular music history" - Simon Frith

"...provocative and enlightening" - Mojo

"Only now has the major Jewish contribution (to rock music) been acknowledged. For that we can thank Michael Billig." - The Guardian

"...the revelations are so surprising that I kept examining my collection to verify the claims. Neil Young's razorwire rendition of On Broadway just isn't Jewish. But there it is on the credits: Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Stoller and Leiber." - Australian Jewish News

"...well-argued thesis that, like the best work of the artists he discusses, provides both entertainment and food for thought."
- Record Collector

"This is a very special little book. All of my generation, and many younger, know songs like 'Hound Dog', 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'', 'Sweets for my Sweets', 'Save the Last Dance for Me'. How many of us realise that our response may have been influenced by the fact that so many of his songs were the product of assimilated and hidden Jewish America?" - New Zealand Jewish Chronicle

"Rock'n'Roll Jews is a valuable study that forces both Jews and non-Jews to rethink many of their assumptions about the role of Jews in contemporary western culture." - Manna

"…a painstakingly researched book… that manages to put forward a strong argument that (rock music) could never have existed without Jewish involvement." - Jewish Chronicle

"…an unexpected subject but it makes a fascinating read."
- Nottingham Evening Post

"…there is much that is provocative in Michael's book… his research unearthed a good deal of interesting trivia." - Now Dig This

Shortlisted for the 2001 Jewish Quarterly/Wingate prize for Jewish non-fiction.

Michael Billig is Professor of Social Science at Loughborough University. Amongst his previous books are Talking of the Royal Family: Banal Nationalism; Fascists; and Freudian Repression. Rock 'n' Roll Jews is is his first book for Five Leaves and is aimed at both a popular and an academic market.
The Skin Of Your Back
by Michael Rosen
ISBN: 090712366X, 200 pages

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"His free form structure is deceptively simple and the magic is a result of his precise choice of concrete words and accurate observation"
- New Moon

My Mother at the Undertakers (extract)

I turned away but saw my father
lean in close to her
raise his hands into the space between his face
and hers.
For one moment I thought he was going to clap.
Then it seemed he was going to hold her head.
Or perhaps his.
But what he did then was shake his hands,
shake them in that space between his face
and hers.

It seemed like some ancient gesture
some blessing. Or curse. Or both.
Wishing her safe passage?
Or cursing her for leaving him.
He stared and muttered
looked away and looked again.
I could see what he was doing:
forcing this picture into his mind,
making himself hold on to this last view of her
after forty years of knowing it like the back of his hand.
Or hers..
The Slow Mirror and Other Stories
edited by Sonja Lyndon & Sylvia Paskin
ISBN: 0907123813, 230 pages

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There I discovered the mirror. It was sitting on top of a dusty seventeenth century Portugese dresser in the twisted-and-turned style made popular following Vasco da Gama's first trip to India and it caught my attention because it was shaped like a lyre...

From the haunting title story by Richard Zimler onwards, this book reflects the diversity of modern Jewish life and the self-confidence of Jewish writing. The contributors include Carol Bergman, Tony Dinner, Moris Farhi, Rachel Castell Farhi, Elaine Feinstein, Ellen Galford, Jack Gratus, Dan Jacobson, Zvi Jaggendorf, Gabriel Josipovici, Robert Lasson, Shaun Levin, Deena Linett, Marci Lopez-Levi, Carole Malkin, Rozanne Rabinowitz, Nessa Rapoport, Frederic Raphael, Stephen Walker, Michelene Wandor, Shelley Weiner, Jonathan Wilson, Tamar Yellin and Richard Zimler.

Published in association with the European Jewish Publication Society.

"The co-editors are to be congratulated on putting together a diverse and interesting collection" - Babel Guide to Jewish Fiction

"I found the sheer diversity of this collection both impressive and also reassuring because it certainly suggests that there need be nothing particularly confining about identifying oneself as a Jewish writer"
- Edinburgh Star
The Streets of East London
by William J. Fishman
ISBN: 0907123562, 140 pages

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The Streets of East London is an illustrated guide to the most vibrant area of London. For 25 years this has been a classic text, and steady seller in many London shops. Suitable for tourists, historians, and anyone interested in the history of London.

The Streets of East London talks about the East End, from the Huguenots of the seventeenth century to the Bangladeshis of today.

William (Bill) Fishman talks about the areas poverty and attempts to relieve it, the successive waves of immigration, crime – including Jack the Ripper and the Krays, the radical movement and ends with suggested walking tours.

The Streets of East London is crammed with historic photographs, and more recent images by Nicholas Breach.

William (Bill) Fishman is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Tears of Honey and Gold
by Jacqueline Karp
ISBN: 0907123554, 40 pages + endpapers

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In Jacqueline Karp's first collection, Sudden Maraschinos, she brought together poems inspired by several Northern and East European countries. In this new collection she turns to Spain — marking its contours and its history, including the influence of the exiled Arab and Jewish populations. The author moves through the country, carefully commenting on what she sees.

"There are travel writers and travel poets; and I know which I prefer. Ms. Karp is a travel poet; she is also a traveller and a linguist. She is able to bring a reporter's veracity to her subjects, made special by her particular vision and style." - Michael Bengerter

Writing on Sudden Maraschinos, Katherine Gallagher remarked that Jacqueline Karp’s work is "stylistically adventurous, with journeys into other cultures, other voices. Karp’s poetry is a delight — distinguished by intelligence, toughness and lyrical grace."

Jacqueline Karp lives in France. Her poetry has appeared in many magazines including The Reader, Penniless Press and The Journal.
When Joseph Met Molly
by Sylvia Paskin
ISBN: 0907123929, 328 pages

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"This excellent collection of essays... written by true enthusiasts... to illustrate the rich visual and cultural content of Yiddish cinema"' - Association of Jewish Libraries

"...a fascinating anthology which should appeal to anyone with an interest in Jewish history or film studies" - Jewish Chronicle

"...the first book on the subject of Yiddish films to be published in the UK and deserves a wide readership." Bimah

Published in association with the European Jewish Publication Society


Foreword - Arianne Ulmer Cipes
Yiddish film and the American experience - Joseph Cohen
The Jazz Singer and its reaction in Yiddish cinema - Eric Goldman
Joseph Green - Chaim Pevner
Ost und West: Old World and New - Jeffrey Shandler, New York University
Sunny Skies and Green Fields - Joel Finler
The Light Ahead - Sylvia Paskin
Freylachs on film - Michael Alpert, YIVO
The crooked road to Jewish luck - Barbara Alikhani
Nosn Bekher fort aheym: a Yiddish film for the Soviet homeland - Laura Greene
The only 'I' in the world: religion, psychoanalysis and the dybbuk - Ira Koningsberg, University of Michigan
The devil and Beethoven: convergent themes in Yiddish film and literature - Dafna Clifford, SOAS
Uncle Moses - Hannah Berliner Fischtal
The celluloid closet of Yiddish Film - Eve Sicular
Gender rebellion in Yiddish film - Eve Sicular
A century in the life of Sholem Aleichem's Tevye - Ken Frieden, Syracuse University
The Goskinds on Jewish life in Poland - Bryan Burns, University of Sheffield
Descendant dybbuks: Yiddish cinema and Hollywood - Alex Gordon, Spiro Institute
Nathan Altman - Joel Finler

A Year of Two Summers
by Shaun Levin
ISBN: 0907123716, 164 pages

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A Year of Two Summers comprises a – roughly chronological – series of short stories starting with adolescent sex in South Africa, to suppressed emotions in South Africa, to gay life in London.

This collection introduces an array of interesting characters: a young man experimenting with cross-dressing, a new recruit in the Israeli army fantasising about a fellow soldier and trying to live as fully human during the invasion of Lebanon, a South African woman and her Syrian boyfriend tiptoeing around each other in their London flat – unsure how to relate to each other after the birth of their child.

"Like (the German writer WG) Sebald, Levin pays meticulous attention to small, everyday details - smells, tastes, body definitions, even the design of shoes - and uses them as hooks upon which to hang troubled, fractured memories. These deceptively simple, poetic stories invite any number of readings under post-colonial, gay, Jewish theories of literature. By turns enlightening and frustrating, Levin amplifies big themes by way of personal, tiny moments." - GCN

"Shaun Levin’s prose is so taut, his images so vivid, that it feels as if he’s talking right to you, and even shouting sometimes. This is a collection where, at last, sex is given its rightful place as both a celebration and a comfort. Many of the stories benefit from the writer’s own journeying as a gay man through South Africa, Israel, America and the UK, although Levin manages to write equally convincingly about that disjointed time when a nursing mother wonders who her body belongs to. For all their themes of dislocation, conflict, identity, home in all its meanings, at the heart of these stories (like those of Chekhov, a writer Levin plays tribute to) is the one thing that matters. Love." - Pulp Net

Praise for Shaun Levin’s previous novella Seven Sweet Things:

"In every chapter there is a moment to take your breath away with its simplicity, its originality, its honesty" - Time Out

"... a rewarding and thoughtful read as well as one of admirable craftsmanship and delicacy." - Lamda Book Review

Shaun Levin’s gay and Jewish stories have appeared in magazines in Britain and America, and, in Hebrew, in Israel, including: Modern South African Stories; Gay Times Book of Short Stories and The Slow Mirror: new fiction by Jewish Writers. He is the recipient of an Arts Council Writers Award and editor of the gay and lesbian literary journal Chroma. He is a South African writer, now living in London. He has taught creative writing and is a playwright.
You Are, Aren't You?
by Michael Rosen
ISBN: 0907123090, 200 pages

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Poems on Jewish and socialist themes, published jointly with Jewish Socialist magazine.


My father came to England
from another country
My father's mother came to England
from another country
but my father's father
stayed behind.

So my dad had no dad here
and I never saw him at all.

One day in spring
some things arrived:
a few old papers,
a few old photos
and - yes -
a hulky bulky thick checked jacket
that belonged to the man
I would have called 'Grandad'
The Man Who Stayed Behind.

But I kept that jacket
And I wore it
And I wore it
And I wore it
till it wore right through
at the back

Also by Michael Rosen: The Golem Of Old Prague
The Skin Of Your Back * Did I Hear You Write?
All My Young Years
by A.N.Stencl
ISBN: 978-1905512232, 120 pages

Out of Print

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After Work

On the doorstep of the white hut
The old farmer smokes a last pipe
And throws in his measured word.
And the weary horse in the stable
Mouths up big sips of water
And scratches with a shaky shoe.

Something burns so joyfully,
So peacefully in those bones,
And the dog’s pricked-up ears
Catch little snatches of talk
About tomorrow’s weather ...

Seemingly they are in a hurry,
The herds of white little clouds,
Since they pass quickly overhead
Above the exhausted, quiet village.

Weimar Berlin was the home of many poets, revolutionaries and dreamers. These included AN Stencl, whose work was admired by Thomas Mann and Arnold Zweig. He was published in Yiddish and German.

Stencl came to London in 1936, where he edited a literary journal (Language and Life/ Loshn un Lebn) until his death. All My Young Years comprises work from his German years – Expressionist and pastoral, printed in English and Yiddish.