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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

How CNN Helps Spoil Our Elections

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2016 | 10:35 AM

There are lots of pretty faces on that major news network, but not much thoughtfulness or insight for anyone following the race for the presidency.

It's not just the typical obsession with who's ahead and who's behind moment-to-moment, or the endless broadcasting of political goofs and wondering how they might...

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Prince Deserved a Better Tribute

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 12:40 PM

There've been lots of people defending Madonna's tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards. They point out that she wore a flashy suit and there was a purple chair. Wasn't that well-staged?

Yeah, right, as if Prince was only about what things looked like.

Her singing was dull...

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Does Facebook Make You Narrow-Minded?

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM

That's the thrust of Frank Bruni's thoughtful column in the New York Times where he references social psychologists to assert that we're turning into "culturally and ideologically inflexible tribes."

By bookmarking given blogs and personalizing social-media feeds, we customize the news we consume and the political beliefs we're exposed to...
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My Museum Love Affair

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 8:26 AM

May 18th was International Museum Day and it made me think how lucky I was growing up in Manhattan. My parents took me to art museums there on a regular basis starting from when I was in elementary school. My first museum memory is of crawling through the legs of...

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"Scandal" Loves Skewering the GOP

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2016 | 6:13 AM

Scandal is wild and addictive. And it's so easy to be dazzled by the sex, political wrangling, high-speed dialogue, and flashy camera work that you can sometimes forget it's a blistering satire of the Republican Party.

That's right. Shonda Rhimes' main target...

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9 Reasons Why Michelle Obama Should Be Our Next Vice President

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 8:59 AM

No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, there's only one person in the U.S. who should join the ticket: Michelle Obama.

She's very popular.

She would bring diversity to the ticket.

She has wit, grace, style, passion, and fierce intelligence.

She's met many world leaders and seen diplomacy...

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Why is Gene Simmons Dissing Prince?

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2016 | 6:31 AM

Interviewed in Newsweek about the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, Gene Simmons of Kiss called Bowie's death "tragic."

But when it came to Prince, he had a very different assessment:

"His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold? pathetic that he killed...

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In Defense of Prince

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 8:24 PM

The latest news about Prince is that he was getting help from experts in dealing with addiction to pain killers.

But as soon as he died, I read lots of on-line speculation about him being a drug abuser. Today I read that his death was the kind of...

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Holocaust Survivors' Son Finds Peace Writing About Germany

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 10:27 PM

Fans often ask me at readings which of my many books is my favorite. The answer doesn't pop up immediately, because I've published in many genres: memoir, mystery, literary novel, short story collections, psychology, biography/literary criticism, historical fiction, Jane Austen mash-up, vampire, writer's guide, and essay collections.

I love them...

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Jon Snow Lives? Yawn.

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 9:08 AM

I've been enjoying Game of Thrones since the beginning and I've been recommending the books to all my friends who haven't read them. I think Martin is an amazing novelist and the writers of the series have done a super job of taking his very complex books and streamlining them...

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What Trump Really Said About Foreign Policy

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 9:21 AM

Columnists and talking heads have been wasting time dissecting Trump's foreign policy talk this week -- treating it seriously, in other words.

All they really had to do was quote a dialogue exchange from Ionesco's play The Bald Soprano:

Mrs. Smith: Such caca, such caca, such caca, such caca, such...

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Best-Selling Author Writes a Romance Novel To Prove Her Superiority

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 4:38 PM

Novelist Curtis Sittenfeld has been getting beaten up by romance writers and readers because she's said that most romance novels are badly written.

This sounds like a classic Publicity 101 attempt to get attention for her own update of Pride and Prejudice: Throw something controversial out there about...

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HBO and Sexual Harassment

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2016 | 8:48 AM


I had just published my first book and was getting my writing career started back in 1991, but it ground to a halt while I watched the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, dumbfounded like so many other people across the country. That's...

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How Bernie Might Help Hillary Win

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 8:47 AM

In all the media hype about the two candidates that casts them as boxers rather than politicians, few pundits mention that Bernie Sanders has helped Hillary Clinton enormously

He's made her a much better candidate.

Watching last night's debate, I thought she was stronger than she's ever been this primary...

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John Kasich: Bigot or Bully?

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 5:38 PM

John Kasich met with some Orthodox Jews in New York and tried to teach them about Judaism.

He rudely and contemptuously insisted that the story of the Jews is more about God's covenant with Abraham than it is about God's relationship with Moses or Moses with the Jews.

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Fear The Walking Dud

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 7:55 AM

Last year I was really looking forward to Fear The Walking Dead. The creators said they didn't want to produce a clone of The Walking Dead. It was going to be set in Los Angeles and months before the outbreak had spread so widely.

That city is a great...

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The Danish Girl is a Dazzling Novel

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 7:23 AM

When I see a movie that's utterly satisfying and is based on a novel, I often don't bother reading the book.

I was so moved by Eddie Redmayne's performance in The Danish Girl, so taken by every aspect of the film that I once again thought I wouldn't have...

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Sanders Was Wrong About Clinton

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 10:47 PM

I've had a Bernie Sanders lawn sign for over a year because I thought he was a much better candidate for President than Clinton in many ways, but what the Senator said about Hillary Clinton being "unqualified" to be President is flat-out disgraceful.

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More Diversity For Michigan Book Award?

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2016 | 3:40 AM

I recently blogged about a serious gap in the history of the Michigan Notable Book Awards.

These awards have been sponsored by the Library of Michigan since 2004, but go back almost 25 years. Each year judges pick 20 Notable Michigan books "reflective of Michigan's diverse ethnic,...

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Susan Sarandon and Robert De Niro Need Better Lines

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 9:49 PM


Susan Sarandon blew up the Internet with her comments about not voting for Hillary Clinton if Bernie Sanders didn't get the Democratic nomination. She was pressed in an interview and said that having Trump as President might not be a...

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