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OCT. 25 – NOV. 6
Before I put my hands on Melvin Jules Bukiet’s Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex, I had three fears: (1) It would read like a how-to note from my Jewish mother. (2) It would contain stories only by Philip Roth. (3) It would only be a pamphlet. In fact, the 349-page anthology does have one Roth contribution (from The Counterlife), as well as 26 other delightful stories from writers such as Leonard Michaels, Cynthia Ozick, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. And although the stories are alphabetically organized by author, it somehow seems appropriate that a book titled Neurotica opens with Woody Allen. Bukiet discusses the book (at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26) as part of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, a two-week event celebrating the 20th-century Jewish experience in writing. The events range from Bukiet’s appearance (and, no, Mom, I’m not attending the pre-lecture event for singles) to a discussion of the Southern Jewish experience with Mississippi native and author Edward Cohen (at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31) to a lecture on “The Languages of Jewish Books” by New Republic Literary Editor Leon Wieseltier (at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30). Other literati scheduled to appear include Marjorie Agosin (at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27), Gerald Stern (at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31), and E.M. Broner (at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1). The festival closes with a lecture by Israeli author Amos Oz (at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6). At the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $6-$15. For reservations call (800) 494-8497. (Elissa Silverman)