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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

Save Us From Canada!

(37) 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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European Vacation -- in Philadelphia!

(2) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 3:15 AM

None of the friends I told about going to see Philadelphia's Rodin Museum this month knew it was there. I confess I hadn't either until fairly recently, but once I did, I was determined to visit.

On my first trip to Paris years ago, French friends had recommended the...

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The First Time I Saw Paris

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 8:50 AM

On my first trip to Paris in 1988, I had a long list of things to do and see, and the Louvre was number one on that list. The Mona Lisa! The Winged Victory! The Venus de Milo!

I didn't get to the Louvre for days. Each morning after a...

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Reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" as an Adult

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2015 | 7:31 AM

When the first Hobbit movie was coming out, I re-read the novel I loved as a kid to reacquaint myself with the story and was more enthralled than I expected to be.

The wry voice was something I missed as a twelve-year-old taken by the adventure and fantasy, and I...

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Huckabee's Hitler Hysteria: A New Low

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 2:16 PM

Why is Mike Huckabee obsessed with Hitler and the Nazis?

Talking about the the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran he recently said in an interview that:

This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By...
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Mark Twain Did Not Write Valentines

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 10:20 AM

Mark Twain is deservedly remembered for his barbed wit, for lines like these from his Notebooks:

"Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children."

"There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him -- early."

But every now and then he's...

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Another Week, Another Mass Shooting

(7) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 9:14 PM

I keep getting comparisons in my Facebook feed between the U.S. and Australia when it comes to gun control and calls for us to follow their example. Noble idea. Flawed logic.

We can't and we won't, despite the fact that there are claims Australia "in some ways shares...

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The Great Wall of Trump

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 5:26 PM

Donald Trump has been down at the Mexican border talking about the need for a wall between The U.S. and Mexico.

What a brilliant idea. Look what the Great Wall has done for China! It's beautiful, unique, and you can even see...
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Mass Murder and Forgiveness?

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 7:04 AM

Roxane Gay recently wrote a blistering column for the New York Times about alleged mass murderer Dylann Roof in which she declared unequivocally that she couldn't forgive him though other people have: "My lack of forgiveness serves as a reminder that there are some acts that...

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A Taste of Bruges

(3) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 9:09 AM

I'm not a rushed traveler. I don't need to check things off a list to say that I've "done" them or "done" a city.

I'm more what the French call a flâneur, someone who likes to wander, stroll, and enjoy himself at leisure. I like museums in moderation, scenic views,...

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Guess What Else Hemingway Didn't Say?

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 6:56 AM

It must be wonderful to be dead and keep writing.

Like Hemingway. He died in 1961 but he keeps writing all kinds of snappy lines. I just saw a new posthumous quote this week: "The first draft of anything is shit." It's all over the Internet.

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My Funny Faux Pas in France

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 5:33 PM

Years ago when I was researching a book on Edith Wharton's psychology and fiction, I visited her former home north of Paris in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt. It was less than an hour north of the city and I'd written to the owner's secretary long in advance to get permission to explore it...

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Jeopardy Bush Does It Again

(22) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 9:41 AM

Years ago they used to say Jeb Bush was "the smart one" in the family. He may be smart (though compared to whom?), but he doesn't seem very politic. One of his answers to our country's economic problems is this: "People need to work longer hours and, through...

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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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