Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival set to launch

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      The 2012 edition of the Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival hits the ignition on Saturday evening (November 24) with an opening-night gala and reception featuring the absurdly funny Shalom Auslander. The renowned New York–based writer—familiar to many as a contributor to the popular NPR radio show This American Life—will bring his brainy, biting wit to a conversation with the Vancouver Writers Fest’s Hal Wake on the subject of such works as Auslander’s latest novel, Hope: A Tragedy.

      Then, over the following five days (until the wrap-up next Thursday [November 29]), the fest will offer something for readers and aspiring writers of all kinds. The roster for Sunday (November 25) includes a chat with Tehila Lieberman, author of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize–winning short-story collection Venus in the Afternoon. Fiction lovers may also want to mark Monday (November 26) on the calendar, when a multi-author event showcases the work of Canadian writers Cary Fagan, Susan Glickman, and Dave Margoshes. Later that evening, the Israeli-born, U.S.–based novelist, poet, and essayist Maya Arad will talk about the state of writing in the Hebrew language.

      Also on the bill are environmental campaigner Tzeporah Berman, dog expert Stanley Coren, and bestselling novelist Lilian Nattel, along with writing workshops, events for kids, and discussions of everything from Israeli cuisine to the role of political cartoons in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It all takes place at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver (950 West 41st Avenue). See the Jewish Book Festival website for the complete picture.