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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

5 Ways Writing Is Better Than Sex

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 8:17 AM

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


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


There isn't as much mess to clean up afterwards. Usually.

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

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 4:33 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 | 10:03 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 | 8:25 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 | 2:11 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 | 9:57 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 | 10:53 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 | 2:55 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 | 5:00 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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Why Not Speak Their Language When You Travel?

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 6:01 AM

When you go to Europe, don't be shy: Try speak the language of your destination. It can be fun!

Preparing for my first German book tour, I took an on-line grammar test from a language school. Big mistake. I was never good at...
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When Authors Beg for Blurbs...

(5) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 7:13 AM

Before I got my first book published, a novelist I knew quipped, "The only thing worse than not being published is being published." I had no idea what he meant, but I soon figured it out.

Take blurbs. Begging for blurbs for your forthcoming book is a definite downside of...

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How to Write a 'Big Book'

(0) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 3:24 PM

Lots of writers dream of writing a big book.

A book that gets advertised and reviewed everywhere. A book that people are reading on trains, planes, and listening to in their cars on cross country trips or morning commutes.


A book that everyone...

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Kim Davis Is Not Being Persecuted by Nazis

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 9:09 PM

Kim Davis's lawyer yesterday said something stupid and obscene.


He compared her to Jews living in Nazi Germany.

Why is this deplorable? Because Davis has beenrefusing to do her job, unlike tens of thousands of law-abiding Jews in...

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Saying Goodbye to Bruges

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 6:18 AM

I once joined a discussion on a travel forum about Bruges and unintentionally ticked some people off who said you could see Bruges in a day or a day and a half. I suggested close to a week was more like it, and was grossly misinterpreted.

They misread me...

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Save Us From Canada!

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 8:47 PM

Scott Walker has boldly gone where no GOP candidate has gone before.

He wants to wall us off from the true international menace we've been ignoring for years: Canada.

He thinks building a wall along the 5,000+ mile border we have with Canada is an idea worth considering....

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Jeb and Hillary Need Political Viagra!

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 3:50 PM

For weeks now, the pundits have asked the same stupid questions and made the same stupid predictions. Every day I keep hearing that Donald Trump is just a reality TV star and a clown and going to say something so outrageous that he's going to flame out. Not gonna happen....

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The Impressionists and Philadelphia

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2015 | 10:16 AM

I hadn't been to Philadelphia in so long that I couldn't even pin down the date, but when I heard about the Impressionists exhibition at the Art Museum, and its focus on their indefatigable cheerleader and art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, I knew I had to go. This was...

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What's With Jeb Bush's Nickname?

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 12:40 PM

In a recent GOP debate Jeb Bush said that the people of Florida trusted him so much they called him "Jeb."

That was news to me. I'd never known "Jeb" meant trustworthy in any language on earth. Then I realized that in his stumbling way he was talking about his...

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London Calling (In Philly!)

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 12:19 PM

Almost ten years ago when I was on a British book tour for my novel The German Money, I had a free afternoon in London which I spent at the amazing Tate Modern. It's London's most unusual museum, built from a former power station and now the home...

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Missing Trump's Danger by a Mile

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 10:12 PM

Novelist Walter Kirn tweeted after this week's GOP debate that

"Trump is simply channeling the bruised petty enraged narcissism that is the natural condition of Selfie Nation."

Okay. If that's yet another high culture slam on Millenials (and their beloved selfies), can we please have a national moratorium on...

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