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Lev Raphael
Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-four 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. His books have been translated into a dozen 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.

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 and writes the Book Brunch column for Raphael's web site is Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael.

Entries by Lev Raphael

Take the Time to Know Your Students, Even If You're Famous

(6) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 10:25 AM

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni just wrote a column about our fractured media culture in which he mentioned how disappointed he was that his Princeton students didn't stir when he mentioned the film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Really? This surprised him? I admire Bruni. He's witty...

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The Walking Dead's Finale Was a Major Fail

(88) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 2:04 PM

[Here be spoilers!] I've been writing and reviewing mysteries and thrillers for two decades, but I usually don't catch coming plot twists unless they're very obvious.

So I've been watching this past season of The Walking Dead with dread as a writer and a viewer. I've been hoping it wasn't...

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Was Pat Robertson Stoned?

(6) Comments | Posted March 29, 2014 | 9:05 AM

Bloviating TV minister Pat Robertson is known for his hateful and ignorant comments about gay people, but this week he veered into pure silliness when talking about marriage equality:

I think you've got to remember from the Bible, you look carefully at the Bible what would have happened...
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Mitch Albom's Blind Spot on Marriage Equality

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:40 PM

Writing in response to U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's historic ruling last Friday that voided Michigan's homophobic ban on same-sex marriage, Mitch Albom recently asked in The Detroit Free Press if we were better off for the ruling.

Of course he meant it rhetorically. He clearly thinks we're not, and...

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Mitch Albom Thinks Marriage Equality Undermines Marriage

(8) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 10:45 AM

In response to Judge Friedman's ruling last Friday that voided Michigan's homophobic ban on same-sex marriage, best selling author Mitch Albom asks in The Detroit Free Press if we're better off for the ruling.

It's an astonishing question, but I'm not surprised that a rich, married...

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Dissing Other Authors Can Be Dangerous--Or Not

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 7:42 AM

When I was first starting out as a published author, and before my first book was published, a famous writer at an awards banquet offered me unsolicited advice about launching a career.

"Don't attack your peers in public," he said. And he grimly added without explanation, "It'll come back to...

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Writing Is My Business, But So Is Business

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 9:45 AM

My father had a small business that I thought imprisoned him, and as a kid, I swore I would never "do retail" as I thought of it.

Boy, was I wrong. As an author, I wound up owning my own small business and it's as vulnerable to competition and the...

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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Author

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 9:12 AM

I've done hundreds of talks and readings from my books across the U.S. and Canada, and in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, France and Israel.

When I'm picked up on tour at a train station or airport, one of the most frequent questions is a rhetorical one: "This must be pretty...

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Giving Up on Downton Abbey

(2) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 8:01 AM

I've always been an Anglophile, reading heavily in English literature, history and culture even before I became an English major in college.

At that point, my New Zealand-born girlfriend turned me on to Monty Python and Masterpiece Theater and I was a total Upstairs, Downstairs junkie. If only we'd had...

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The Latest Publishing Wisdom: Authors Need to Shop Themselves 'Til They Drop

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2014 | 8:53 AM

I've been publishing books since 1990 in many genres with different publishers and have seen wave after wave of answers to the question "What will sell this book?"

Once it was believed that author tours could do it. Or advertising in the right media. Author web sites and newsletters for...

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Jennifer Weiner Is a Genius at Self-Promotion

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 10:03 AM

How many authors of commercial fiction do you know who get huge, glowing profiles in the New Yorker?

Well, Jennifer Weiner just did, as she continues to ride her successful hobbyhorse about not getting respect. When she even feels attacked by literary novelists like Claire Messud, this...

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Somebody Left Downton Abbey's Cake Out in the Rain

(20) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 7:16 AM

Whatever happened to the witty, sparkling show that surprised and charmed so many of us when it first debuted? The champagne has gone completely flat.

Yesterday's two-hour snooze fest lacked drama and wit, taking its dour tone from Zombie Lady Mary. Most of the characters seemed to be sleep-walking through...

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If Aaron Schock Is Really Gay, We'll Need Proof, Not Rumors

(43) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 12:33 PM

Writer Itay Hod apparently just "outed" GOP Congressman Aaron Schock on Facebook.

In case you don't know who Schock is, he's a model-handsome, uber-fit Illinois congressman who is vehemently anti-gay rights. So his being gay would be quite a story. Is it true?

Hod doesn't mention...

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Massive Michigan Power Outage Reveals Some People's Dark Side

(16) Comments | Posted December 28, 2013 | 5:49 PM

In case you missed it somehow, half a million people in Michigan lost power this past week after a horrendous ice storm. Not only was it the Christmas season, but this was after 300,000 had lost power less than two months ago in another storm.

We were lucky at our...

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There and Back Again: Rediscovering The Hobbit

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 9:03 AM

I discovered The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was around 11 or 12. My family had taken an inexpensive apartment in Far Rockaway for the summer, in a grey, ordinary two-story frame house with a sagging porch and lush honeysuckle growing on a trellis near the...

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Has Scandal Jumped the Shark?

(34) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 11:33 AM

Last night Scandal turned into 24 and dumped torture porn on us Scandalistas.

We knew well enough that Huck enjoyed torturing people, had seen it in nasty detail. It's his drug, it makes him feel.

And in a bizarre bonding moment, he had shared that love with...

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Book Group B.S.

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 5:22 PM

The publishing industry is always pushing something new as the Holy Grail of promotion. Right now it's social media; a few years ago, it was being social: speaking to book groups via Skype or in person.

A colleague's recent bad experience with a book group reminded me of my own...

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Seven Signs You've OD'd on The Walking Dead

(13) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 1:51 PM

The Walking Dead is one of the hottest shows on TV, drawing almost as many viewers for its season four opening as NCIS.

The show is seeping into our culture and our lives in unexpected ways -- which means that it may have turned you without your being fully aware....

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Seven Signs You're a True Fan of The Walking Dead

(4) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 8:25 AM

The Walking Dead is one of the hottest shows on TV, drawing almost as many viewers for its season four opening as NCIS.

The show is seeping into our culture and our lives in unexpected ways -- which means that it may have turned you without your being fully aware....

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Who Says Writers Have to Write Every Day?

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 11:54 AM

Lots of authors worry about the number of words they write per day. Some even post the tally on Facebook as if they're in some kind of competition.

And if they're not writing at least 500 or 1200 or 2000 words or whatever quota they've set, they feel miserable. Why...

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