Jewish Book Festival

In partnership with the JCC US/Canada Jewish Literary Consortium

Zoom Author Talks and Q & A


Tuesday  Aug 10, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT  

MARGARET ATWOOD –  Two Scorched Men
In Conversation with Holly Firfer, Atlanta Media Personality

FREE Register here

This event was pre-recorded and questions were solicited in advance from viewers.
All event attendees will receive access to Scribd (a reading subscription service), free for two months. Upon registration for this event, you will receive the complimentary promo code for your subscription!

Margaret Atwood needs little introduction and, in 2021, is more culturally influential than ever.

A short story that draws from characters and places in Ms. Atwood’s own life, “Two Scorched Men” is a semi-autobiographical tale about the author’s time in Provence. At its center is a friendship between two very different and eccentric men whose lives were transformed by World War II and by personal tragedy. The story is a tribute to the power of connection and resilience and is as funny and affectionate as it is unsentimental about what it means to be human.
It’s available exclusively on Scribd beginning August 8, 2021.

Wednesday Aug 18, 2021 | 5:00 pm PDT  

DANIEL LEVIN – Proof of Life: Twenty Days on the Hunt for a Missing Person in the Middle East

Virtual Ticket  : USD $6
Ticket + Book (incl. shipping):  USD $36 Register here

Daniel Levin was at his office in New York when he got a call from an acquaintance with an urgent, cryptic request to meet in Paris. A young man had gone missing in Syria. No government, embassy, or intelligence agency would help. Would he? This begins the suspenseful, shocking, and at times brutal true-life story that finds Levin, a lawyer turned armed-conflict negotiator, navigating the seedy and dangerous underbelly of the Middle East, where he encounters powerful sheiks, drug lords, and sex traffickers in pursuit of the truth.

PROOF OF LIFE is a mind-blowing exploration of how people use leverage to get what they want, entangling Levin in a dizzying web of favors and counter favors with the highest stakes possible. The book is a fast-paced thriller wrapped in a memoir, a must-read for anyone interested in power dynamics, international affairs, or the Middle East.

The son of a diplomat, Daniel Levin spent his early years in the Middle East and in Africa and then trained as a lawyer. For the past twenty years he has worked with governments and institutions worldwide, focusing on economic development and political reform through financial literacy, political inclusion, and constitutional initiatives.  He lives outside New York City.

Monday  August 23 | 5:00 pm PDT

FRANCINE PROSE / The Vixen: A Novel
In Conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist

Virtual Ticket  : USD $6
Ticket + Book (incl. shipping):  USD $36 Register here

THE VIXEN is the latest novel from critically acclaimed, bestselling author Francine Prose. The year is 1953, and Simon Putnam, a recent Harvard graduate, has landed an editorial role at a distinguished New York City publisher. Thrust into a glittering world of martini lunches, exclusive literary salons, and old-money aristocrats, Simon finds himself a far cry from his loving, middle-class Jewish family in Coney Island. But Simon’s first assignment—editing The Vixen, the Patriot and the Fanatic, a lurid bodice-ripper improbably based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a potboiler intended to shore up the firm’s failing finances—makes him question the cost of admission. Because Simon has a secret that, at the height of the Red Scare and the McCarthy hearings, he cannot reveal: his beloved mother was a childhood friend of Ethel Rosenberg’s. Indeed, his parents mourn Ethel’s death.
THE VIXEN rewards its reader with an eminently satisfying conclusion. It is the sort of work most needed right now. At once domestic and political, contemporary and historic, funny and heartbreaking, the novel illuminates a period of history with eerily striking similarities to the current moment.

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction including, the highly acclaimed Mister Monkey; Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include the highly praised Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and Reading Like a Writer, which has become a classic.

In partnership with the JCC US/Canada Jewish Literary Consortium

Zoom Author Talks and Q & A


A Special Evening with the Master of International Intrigue, Bestselling Author Daniel Silva
Mon. Jul 12, 2021  | 5:00 pm PDT  

DANIEL SILVA / The Cellist
In Conversation with Dana Bash, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent

One hardcover copy of The Cellist + free ticket   USD$36.00 Register here
(Book will ship from Indigo after the event)

Daniel Silva follows up his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestsellers The Order, The New Girl, and The Other Woman with this riveting, action-packed tale of espionage and suspense featuring art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon.

The fatal poisoning of a Russian billionaire sends Gabriel Allon on a dangerous journey across Europe and into the orbit of a musical virtuoso who may hold the key to the truth about his friend’s death. The plot Allon uncovers leads to secret channels of money and influence that go to the very heart of Western democracy and threaten the stability of the global order. The Cellist is a breathtaking entry in Daniel Silva’s “outstanding series” (People magazine) and reveals once more his superb artistry and genius for invention—and demonstrates why he belongs “firmly alongside le Carré and Forsyth as one of the greatest spy novelists of all time” (The Real Book Spy).


Wednesday, May 12 |  6:30pm

COLUM McCANN / Apeirogon

“a shape with a countably infinite number of sides.”


In conversation with GARY BARWIN, author of Yiddish for Pirates (finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize)  and Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted -the Ballad of Motl the Cowboy

Tickets:  $18 (taxes and fees included) – Register here 
Purchase the book here

Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon—a “beautifully observed masterpiece” —is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.
Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian, and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, come together after each has lost a daughter, one to suicide bombers and the other to Israeli police. Parents from both sides of the conflict whose loved ones have died gather in a parents’ circle to tell their stories, to heal and to ensure that their unimaginable losses are never forgotten. Bassam and Rami recognize the loss that connects them and attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.
Deploying myriad seemingly unrelated historical, cultural and biographical snapshots, this highly original and inventive novel reframes the never-ending Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Based on the true-life friendship of the two fathers, McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.



Thursday, April 29, 5:30pm

S.M. FREEDMAN – The Day She Died
In conversation with Sam Wiebe; with musical guest Stacey Joy

Published by Dundurn Press

FREE – Register here

After a traumatic head injury, Eve questions every memory and motive in this mind-bending psychological thriller. Eve Gold’s birthdays are killers, and her twenty-seventh proves to be no different. But for the up-and-coming Vancouver artist, facing death isn’t the real shock — it’s what comes after. Recovering from a near-fatal accident, Eve is determined to return to the life she’s always wanted: a successful artistic career, marriage to the man who once broke her heart, and another chance at motherhood. But brain damage leaves her forgetful, confused, and tortured by repressed memories of a deeply troubled childhood, where her innocence was stolen one lie — and one suspicious death — at a time.

As the dark, twisted pages unfold, Eve must choose between clinging to the lies that helped her survive her childhood and unearthing the secrets she buried long ago.

S.M. Freedman is the author of The Faithful and Impact Winter. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and spent years as a private investigator on the not-so-mean streets of Vancouver, before returning to her first love: writing.

About the JCC Jewish Book Festival

The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is one of Vancouver’s leading cultural and literary events, attracting a large and varied audience of over 5,000 people of all ages. This highly popular community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers on Jewish subject matter.

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The JCC Jewish Book Festival’s mandate is to showcase Jewish writers or non-Jewish writers with Jewish interest subject matter. Read more…

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