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Lev Raphael
Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-five books in nearly a dozen different genres. Raphael is best known as a pioneer in writing fiction and creative non-fiction about the children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been publishing since 1978, before almost any other American author. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and he's done hundreds of invited talks and readings on three continents. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and England. He's a guest assistant professor of English at Michigan State University whose Special Archives purchased his current and future literary papers.

Raphael's academic mystery series has earned raves from the NYTBR and many other newspapers and magazines and he has been the keynoter at international conferences. Raphael has written hundreds of reviews and essays for The Detroit Free Press, Jerusalem Report, Forward, The Washington Post, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Boston Review and Lambda Book Report. A former radio talk show host, he currently reviews for WKAR 90.5 FM in East Lansing, MI. Raphael's web site is Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael.

Entries by Lev Raphael

Morning Joe Is a Clown Show

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 8:47 AM

I tune in now and then when I'm making coffee, but eventually turn it off because I'm disgusted by the buffoonery that passes for news and analysis.

Take today's show (11/30/15).


Donald Trump was being interviewed by phone. He did what you...

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Before Black Friday, Thank Cynthia Ozick

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 8:02 AM

If you look for a quote on gratitude to spice up an email, tweet, or Facebook post this Thanksgiving season, one of the top ones you'll find is by American novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick:

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."

It's everywhere:...

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Don't Miss "The Man in the High Castle"!

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 1:04 PM

When I heard that Amazon was doing a miniseries based on Philip K. Dick's Hugo-winning novel from the Sixties, I realized that it had been sitting on my shelves between DeLillo and Didion for years. But somehow I'd never gotten around to reading it. Once I picked up the old...

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The Vikings are Coming! The Vikings are Coming!

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 7:36 AM

Have you noticed that Vikings are as ubiquitous as Zombies these days?

Well, almost.

There's the series Vikings with its haunting, gloomy theme song. That tells the story of the legendary fierce warrior Ragnar Lothbrook of the Danes as he battles in England. It's brilliant at...

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Paris, Beirut, and Grief Shaming on Facebook

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Facebook has been a strange place since the Paris attacks November 13th.

While many people have expressed outrage and sympathy for the victims, they've been criticized for not mentioning the bombings just a day before in Beirut. That's grief shaming, plain and simple.

And the implicit...

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God Save the Nazi King?

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 8:15 AM

The American poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote that the saddest words are "It might have been." But writers of alternative history fiction would disagree. What's more exciting than turning history upside down?

The Man in the High Castle, SS-GB, Fatherland, and Dominion are just a few of the fascinating novels...

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Ben Carson's Mask is Finally Off

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2015 | 4:08 PM

Ben Carson has always felt fake to me.

While people have praised his warmth and talked admiringly about how soft-spoken he is, I've been creeped out by his affectless voice, and I've watched his eyes. They've felt cold to me, reminding me of people like George Bush.

And that...

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Why Does TV Makes Its Women Foolish?

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 11:29 AM

Gran Hotel is not a crime show. It's a sexy, romantic, exciting Spanish series that ran for three seasons, blending Downton Abbey with Dynasty. But it raises the temperature by adding robberies, marital rape, murders, bombs, poisonings, and relentless skulduggery.

The show is set in northern Spain on the Atlantic...

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Toxic Teachers

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 9:55 AM

I do a lot of speaking at colleges and universities around the country, and faculty tell me many behind-the-scenes stories. Properly disguised, these accounts make great material for my Nick Hoffman mystery series: tales of petty infighting, squabbling committees, ridiculous vendettas -- all the simmering snarkiness that Borges...

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What Makes Academic Crime Fiction Tick?

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 8:09 AM

Essays, stories, and books of mine are taught at colleges and universities around the country, so I've been invited to speak at a lot of different institutions over the years, from Ivy League schools to community colleges.


They all have something in...

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Ben Carson Owes the World an Apology

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 11:46 PM


Because every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.

What has he said lately to make the world a dumber place to live? That without gun control laws, the Holocaust wouldn't have been so severe. Wolf Blitzer quizzed him on what he...

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Top 10 Reasons Writing Is Better Than Sex

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 9:17 AM

1-You can go all night without stopping and still look great.


2-Being confused isn't usually a problem--it's part of the process.


3-Talking to yourself doesn't freak people out.

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The U.S. Isn't Australia: Gun Control Won't Happen Here

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 5:33 PM


Another week, another massacre. In fact, mass shootings occur on a daily basis in the US.

The death death toll in Oregon's campus shooting is apparently 10, though some news sources reported it as high as 15 in the...

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Why Are They Translating Shakespeare?

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2015 | 11:03 AM

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Oregon Shakespeare Company is doing translations of all of Shakespeare's plays to make them more comprehensible. Why? According to a Columbia University professor, because:

Most educated people are uncomfortable admitting that Shakespeare's language often feels more medicinal than enlightening. We have...
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Marco Rubio and Hitler? Says Who?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 9:25 AM

The chair of the Democratic National Committee expressed outrage that Marco Rubio was attending a fundraiser at the home of Harlan Crow, who according to is a "Hitler art collector."

The image conjures up the worst images of Neo-Nazis, secret basements filled with WW II...

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Downton Abbey Goes to Spain (And Gets Hot)

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Missing Downton Abbey?

Gran Hotel is a riveting Spanish series available via streaming on Netflix that blends Downton Abbey with Dynasty and adds hefty doses of crime. Set in what Americans would call the Edwardian era, the base is a luxurious seaside hotel on the Atlantic.

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Is Donald Trump Reading Your Blog?

(1) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 10:57 AM

I've never crossed paths with Donald Trump, but his type is very familiar to me because I grew up in Manhattan. I think of him as a New York Blowhard, and they're as much a part of the scenery as the skyline.

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Trump the Barbarian

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 11:53 PM

I've read lots of commentaries that claim Europeans are lamenting the state of our current election cycle, specifically focusing on Donald Trump.

He supposedly represents everything that's wrong with America. But having grown up in New York, I find that characterization much too broad. I think he's actually the...

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"Fear The Walking Dead"? Not So Much

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 3:55 PM

I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead and was intrigued when the creators of Fear The Walking Dead said they wanted the new show to be different.

It would be set in LA for one, and months before the outbreak had spread so widely. It would also have less...

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Writers Are Not Robots

(2) Comments | Posted September 12, 2015 | 6:00 PM

Well, I'm not, anyway.

I do have writer friends who can produce a book (or more) a year no matter what kind of crisis is hitting them at home. Contracts pull them through. That, and stubbornness. I couldn't work with so much pressure; I'd feel like I was on an...

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