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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

Why Would Anyone Diss Gay Rights Allies?

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 11:18 AM


A young gay writer just published an opinion piece in The Washington Post telling people to stop displaying the rainbow flag colors on their profile photos.


Because: "Gay pride is not something you can claim by waving a flag."


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Politeness I'd Truly Like to See

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 10:32 AM

Buzzfeed's "Whatever Happened To These 6 Polite Gestures?" was all over Facebook recently. It prompted all kinds of nostalgia for things like thank you notes--as if climate change would end when people bought stationary and picked up pens again.

I send email thank you notes, and if I'm...

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Was E.L. James Really Bullied on Twitter?

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 9:28 PM

Monday on Facebook, Anne Rice majestically defended E.L. James after James's Twitter Q&A event spun out of control.

Instead of being a lovefest or a cyber tea party, #AskELJames turned into a free-for-all where critics of all kinds--wits and dimwits--told James what they thought of her books...

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Clarence Thomas's Judicial Cruelty

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 9:09 AM

I'm late at reading all the dissents to the 5-4 decision making marriage legal across the country for gays and lesbian, but Clarence Thomas said something so extraordinarily illogical and ahistorical, it has to be noted:

Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because...
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Mike Huckabee's Blasphemy?

(48) Comments | Posted June 27, 2015 | 11:03 AM

In response to the 5-4 Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage yesterday, Mike Huckabee tweeted a number of things, including this:

My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: "Jesus wept."

If you're not familiar with this shortest English line of the New...

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Justice Roberts Needs a History Tutor

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 2:20 PM

In his dissent today against the 5-4 decision making marriage legal for gay men and lesbians everywhere across the United States, Justice Roberts issued this appeal to historical precedent:

The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution...
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Scalia's Marriage Collapses

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 1:24 PM

In a statement released by his attorney, Justice Antonin Scalia, a scathing opponent of today's 5-4 decision in favor of marriage equality, has announced that he and his wife are appealing to the Vatican for an annulment. Grounds for the annulment were not stated.

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Jindal Joins GOP Jamboree

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 3:05 AM

A few days ago I heard some GOP ventriloquist's dummy on CNN confidently declare that Bobby Jindal would bring substantive policy proposals "to the table" and that he'd even "been accused of being a policy wonk." Accused? What a great shout-out.

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Writers: Don't Get Trapped By Social Media

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 7:46 AM

For the last few years, at every writers' conference I've attended, the hottest topic has been social media. Writers crowd these sessions like medieval pilgrims seeking miracles at a shrine. They seem convinced that with just the right piece of information, they can use social media to promote themselves into...

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Going to London? Don't Miss The Wallace Collection!

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 5:45 PM

London has world-class museums, but one of them isn't as well-known as it should be: The Wallace Collection. There's no entrance fee, you can see all of it in a morning or afternoon, and it won't leave you feeling overwhelmed like The British Museum or the National Gallery might. Housed...

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Jeb Bush Has Hit a New Low

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 2:13 PM

In case you missed it, the race-hatred massacre in Charleston has left Jeb Bush clueless. He's not sure if race is actually a factor in this horrific episode of domestic terrorism.

Every major news outlet in the country -- well, maybe not Fox? -- reported that a survivor...

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Meaningful Gun Control Will Never Happen in the U.S.

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 9:30 AM

This past week, the Internet, our editorial pages, and our talk shows have been filled with calls for gun control. That happens every time there's a terrible massacre like the one we saw in South Carolina. The talk always fades.

I support gun control, but these efforts are doomed and...

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"That's Funny, You Don't Look American!"

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 11:40 AM

When I travel in Western Europe, people ask me if I'm Norwegian.

That's always seemed strange, because my descent is Eastern European and Jewish. Now, the Vikings did range as far down as the Black Sea, so maybe some Scandinavian DNA got grafted onto my family tree there somewhere, but...

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Dummies, Death, and J.Lo

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 9:38 AM

Characters in thrillers--especially the women--live in a parallel universe, don't they? A universe where they've never read a thriller or seen one on TV or in a movie theater.

Because otherwise they wouldn't behave like dummies even now, heading past the middle of the decade.

Take Jennifer Lopez in...

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A Taste of Windsor, Ontario

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 6:04 AM

I've been in Canada a lot over the years, and always seemed to be passing through Windsor, Ontario in one direction or the other.

This past week, I was actually there for a wonderful day. I was a fundraising speaker for BookFest Windsor, speaking at the lovely Old Walkerville...

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The Good Old Days in English Class?

(5) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 10:05 AM

I recently sparked an unintended conversation about readings lists on Facebook, with a few posters recalling the 1970s where you might have to read as many as ten novels in a semester's English class.

I was in college then and remember those lists. My survey course in The American...

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Reviewer Prejudice at the New York Times?

(5) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 8:53 PM

Janet Maslin at the Times just published her summer reading list and Gawker complains that all the authors are white.

I've got another observation. Every book but two of the 17 she chose comes from a major publishing house like Dutton, Viking or Scribner. And the...

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What's With Jonathan Franzen Bashing Edith Wharton?

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 7:41 AM

Planning to teach Wharton soon, I took another look at Franzen's New Yorker hatchet job on Edith Wharton, and it was worse than I remembered. The critics' darling praises her classics The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence but grossly misreads...

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Stop Misinterpreting "Free Speech"

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 7:51 AM

Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post this week is typical of commentators who blather about "free speech" when college students protest one commencement speaker or another every spring.

She's like far too many opinion writers and talking heads who demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights....

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The Day I Defended Fifty Shades of Grey(!)

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 9:25 AM


Yes, I know the book is awful in every possible way, and I've blogged about it several times on The Huffington Post. And last month in a sex writing workshop, I used one of its sex scenes as an example of very bad...

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