Here We Are!
Where Jewish Trekkies Meet Survivors and Other Thrillers at the JCC Book Fair, Opening November 2
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
November 1, 2016
Along with fellow aliens the Aaamazzarites, Insectoids, Romulans and Vulcans who inhabit the the world of Star Trek, come embrace your Inner Voyager at the JCC this year “where no book fair has gone before.”
Running November 2-13, the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit’s 65th Annual Jewish Book Fair features more than 40 authors and events for readers of all ages. Books for sale include hundreds of titles ranging from fiction to history, cookbooks to children’s soon-to-be-PJ Library favorites.
Highlighting The Fifty Year Mission
Guest authors at the Book Fair include writer/producer Mark A. Altman (co-author of The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The Fifty Year Mission. On Saturday, November 12, Altman will be present an evening of Star Trek from the perspective of those who know it and love it the best: the stars, creators, writers and executives. “I’ve been a fan of Star Trek since I was a kid, but my passion for it has evolved, much like V’ger (a famed Star Trek vessel,” says Altman.“You embrace it as a child for the action and the aliens, but you stay for the big ideas and the characters.
In addition to showing rare film clips and mementos, Altman will discuss the Jewish connections to Star Trek. “Not only were Bill Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Koenig all Jewish, but so much of the iconic Vulcan tradition is connected with Leonard Nimoy’s close identification with Judaism and being brought up Jewish in Boston,” he says.
The evening of Star Trek also will include a showing of the film, For the Love of Spock, at 9 p.m. in The Berman Theatre for Performing Arts.
Up Close and Extremely Personal
Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in 11 years, carries its own kind of crazy, building on the scale of his two previous novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. With reference to what Philip Roth called “a book that won’t shut up,” The New York Times critic Dwight Garner called it Foer’s “best and most caustic novel, filled with so much pain and regret that your heart sometimes struggles to hold it all.”
Here I Am is the story of a family and a nation in crisis and the “best answer” to how the author feels about his Judaism. “It’s the place I took that question most seriously” and is “a full expression of how complicated that is,” he says. Foer will discuss his new novel and his own revelations at 6 p.m., preceded by a 4 p.m. showing of the film version of “Everything Is Illuminated.”
Patron Night: A Real Life Thriller
Book Fair Patron Night, on Saturday, November 5, will feature Ben Mezrich, author of The 37th Parallel, Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, the basis of the film “The Social Network.” Mezrich’s latest book, “Once Upon a Time in Russia,” tells of mathematician Boris Berezovsky and toy salesman Roman Abramovich, who built a multi-billion-dollar oil business.
“Mezrich’s eye for research focuses on the beginning of the end of communist Soviet Russia,” says Book Fair Co-chair Susan Lutz. “The Perestroika of the 1980s provided the opportunity for ordinary people to acquire extraordinary wealth, power and political influence. Once Upon a Time in Russia is a real-life thriller of the first Russian oligarchs and the rise of Vladimir Putin. It will be fascinating to hear how Mezrich gained access to the intimate details of Putin’s Russia, likened to a ‘Mafia State’ – a topic of relevance for us all.”
Complete information about Book Fair, including a list of all events, the official brochure and book store hours, can be found online at jccdet.org/bookfair or by calling 248.661.1000.