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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

Downton Crabby

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2016 | 10:18 PM

Is it a Yorkshire flu? Low-level mass psychosis? Too much gluten? Or just bad writing? Almost everyone on the show seems to have the pip.

Carson doesn't like anything his wife does, whether it's making his bed or cooking and serving his meals. They must have a grand time doing...

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Why I Quit My Book Group

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 9:04 PM


Okay, the snacks were great, and so was the wine.

But the books were awful. I wanted to have fun, but everyone kept voting for books that were depressing. They called them "classics." I guess that's code for boring books where nothing really...

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Downton Abbey is Too Exciting!

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 7:56 AM

Season Six is thrilling beyond measure. The show is going out in a blaze of glory. I had to take Valium midway during last Sunday's episode because I thought I'd never get to sleep after the non-stop excitement.

There were two baskets prepared by Mrs. Patmore. Two! And they were...

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Reading Henry James Changed My Life

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 5:39 AM

I had an amazing senior year of college reading (and reveling in) George Eliot, Edith Wharton, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Lawrence Durrell, Fitzgerald, and Henry James.

While all of them inspired me to be a better writer of fiction--my goal in life--it was James who was the catalyst for perhaps...

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Andie McDowell and Her Chihuahua Will Star in a New Film

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 11:12 AM

Andie McDowell got trashed on twitter for complaining that American Airlines bumped her and her Chihuahua from first class to "tourist" class (also known as the torture seats).


But the furious back and forth over her tweet is done.

And Samuel...

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Henry James' Killer Kindness Quote

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2016 | 7:53 AM

One of the most popular quotes about kindness on the Internet is attributed to the novelist Henry James:

"Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind."

I hadn't noticed it until recently...

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Donald Trump: Do Your Homework!

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 10:35 AM

English teachers everywhere know when students haven't done the required reading for a class. You'll ask the most basic question and a student will hesitate, equivocate, try not to answer, maybe re-frame the question, or just shift ground entirely.

The question doesn't have to be anything very deep, either, nothing...

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The War on Terror Comes to Michigan?

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 8:14 AM

Fellow Michiganders, you might think Michigan's fairly safe when it comes to terrorism.

Fourteen police departments in our state seem to disagree. They've put themselves on a list to get Mine Resistant Ambush Proof (MRAP) vehicles from the Defense Department.

These are designed to withstand ambushes and attacks from IEDs,...

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Is Sweden Training Migrants To Be Snipers?

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2016 | 9:10 AM

Almost every day on Facebook there's some rumor or bizarre "news story" passed on by dozens or hundreds of people and outrage takes over.

This morning I learned that Sweden is training new migrants to be snipers:

SWEDEN is funding a sniper training course for recently-arrived Third...

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Brian Bedford: In Memoriam

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 12:53 PM

Growing up in New York I got to see lots of great theater, including James Earl Jones in The Cherry Orchard, Julie Harris in The Belle of Amherst, and Brian Bedford, who's just died, in The School for Wives. He won a Tony Award for that performance and rightly so.

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Can you hear me, Major Tom?

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 7:03 AM

Crecí en lo que parecía la capital de los medios, así que todo lo que hacía David Bowie ocupaba al menos unos minutos de la actualidad en Nueva York, aunque los presentadores de las televisiones locales se burlaran de sus trajes de Ziggy o se quedaran simplemente sin palabras. También...

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Can You Hear Me, Major Tom?

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 6:56 AM


I grew up in what seemed like the media capital of the world, so everything David Bowie did got at least a few minutes of New York news time, even if the local TV hosts mocked his Ziggy costumes or just were...

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Does Goodreads Care About Its Bogus Quotations?

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2016 | 8:12 AM

Back in November, I contacted Goodreads to let them know that the top quotation by George Eliot is bogus:

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Yes, you've seen it attributed to her everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, t-shirts, kitchen magnets, mugs, bookmarks, tote...

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Degas' Viral Art Quote Is Fake

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2016 | 7:50 AM

One of the most inspiring quotations about art that you can find on line is this one:

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. (Edgar Degas)

It shows up everywhere.

But where's the proof that Degas ever said it or wrote it? You can't...

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Let's Stop Obsessing About "Writer's Block"

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 8:32 AM

"Writer's Block is bunk."

That's not exactly what prize-winning author Loren D. Estleman said a few years ago at a Michigan writer's conference, but it's close. He'd already published over 60 books--working on a typewriter.

The problem with even using the term, he said, is that it's a supremely unhelpful...

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Why I Didn't Make New Year's Resolutions

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 8:08 AM

I haven't made a New Year's resolution in many years, because they started feeling like lines drawn in the sand: bold, dramatic, exciting.

Until the tide comes in and washes them away.


I see plenty of writers resolving this and that...

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How to Help Friends In a Shame Spiral

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 9:43 PM

We've all felt the power of shame. We feel exposed, totally flawed, and hopeless to do anything about it. Shame can be so devastating that all we want to do is hide.


And watching a friend suffer a shame experience or listening to...

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'The Force Awakens' Is a Masterpiece of Nostalgia

(7) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 12:48 PM


The Force Awakens is a brilliantly manipulative piece of film-making meant to reel in everyone who loved the first three Lucas films and rightly despised the next trio. And make them bring their kids, too.

It's got real...

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Donald Trump Needs Help With His Insults

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2015 | 5:40 AM

The Media has been consistently confused by Donald Trump's rise in the polls because they've predicted since the summer that his trash talking would sink his campaign. Though he sounds like a belligerent New York cabbie at the end of his shift, Trump keeps garnering support despite the way he...

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Me and Aziz Ansari

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2015 | 8:40 AM

So I'm watching Episode Two of Master of None titled "Parents." Aziz Ansari's character Dev is bitching with his friend Brian (played by Alan Yang) about how demanding and undemonstrative his immigrant parents are.

He says that when he was at a white girlfriend's house for dinner, he got hugged...

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