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The Writings of Daniel M. Jaffe

Click here to go to Daniel's new website, www.danieljaffe.com, and read about his new novel, YELED TOV!

THE GENEALOGY OF
UNDERSTANDING


A new novel-in-stories

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To see Dan read from THE GENEALOGY OF UNDERSTANDING, click here.



THE GENEALOGY OF UNDERSTANDING is a novel-in-stories in which the narrator explores different ways of adapting Jewish tradition to the modern world.

Matt Klein, a contemporary Jewish Scheherazade, questions whether ancient Torah is relevant to the social issues of today.  Can Torah illuminate and guide responses to such issues as intermarriage, infidelity, and prejudice that threaten to splinter families in the suburban New Jersey community of his upbringing?

He first examines the private lives of his congregation’s unfaithful rabbi, of a friend contemplating intermarriage, of a neighbor family that lost wife and mother to AIDS, of other friends raising a brain-damaged child who murders a toddler.  Matt then confronts his own family’s tensions, particularly his parents’ dramatically conflicting approaches to religious observance, his father’s struggle with his mother’s Alzheimer’s decline, and his own coming out as a gay Jewish man despite family and community resistance.  Each of the 53 stories in this novel responds to a particular weekly Torah reading, resulting in a work of fiction that explores Jewish spirituality, ethics, and community values, as well as the nature of human heart, mind, and soul.


"Jaffe is a marvelous storyteller.... The characters are sensitively drawn and come to life in his hands. This is a lovely piece of fiction suggesting that the challenges, conflicts and conundrums of our lives are expressed in the universal themes of Torah, and our search for solutions begins there, as well."  

Amy Scheinerman for Congregational Libraries Today


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"Jewish Gentle" and Other Stories of Gay-Jewish Living

Reviews are in:

"[T]he most powerful collection of short stories about gay Jews ...[in] more than 20 years."  Wayne Hoffman, Jewish Book Council's Jewish Book World.

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The acclaimed novel of a gay Jewish man's lusty and spiritual adventures in Amsterdam

 — now back in print!

THE LIMITS OF PLEASURE

A novel by Daniel M. Jaffe

The Limits of Pleasure, by Daniel M. Jaffe, front cover

On Chanukah Eve, December 1, 2010, Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press, published its first novel, a reprint of author Daniel M. Jaffe’s acclaimed book, The Limits of Pleasure, a Finalist for one of ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards upon initial publication in 2001.

With great humor and sensitivity, The Limits of Pleasure follows Dave Miller,  a sexy forty-year-old bearish man living in Boston, as he survives an escalating inner skirmish to reconcile his Jewish and gay identities.

A year after the death of his Holocaust-surviving grandmother, Dave leaves Boston for Amsterdam, the home of Anne Frank, whom his Grandma revered. Dave, feeling undeserving to confront the suffering that Grandma endured in the concentration camps, cannot bring himself to visit Anne Frank’s house.

Angry with himself and the world, Dave repeatedly seeks out risky erotic trysts that mix sacred ritual with profane hedonism. When he meets Alexander, a sexually reserved Dutchman of Indonesian heritage who has identity conflicts of his own, the relationship shakes both men’s lives to their core.

“I can only testify to the riveting effect this book has had on me . . . truly groundbreaking . . . a brilliant author. . .The canon itself quakes, shudders, and then invites the likes of The Limits of Pleasure in, as it so emphatically must. Daniel Jaffe has done a great thing: made a fresh pilgrimage to the age-old human well, where sex and death, good-hearted secularism and the promptings of an ambiguous Higher Power, revolutionism and blood fealty all roil the pond from surface to sediment.”   

           — Sydney Lea, Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of Pursuit of a Wound; Founding Editor of New England Review

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With Signs and Wonders:
An International Anthology of
Jewish Fabulist Fiction
 
Complied and Edited by
Daniel M. Jaffe 
 
Bringing together 24 contemporary writers and translators from 19 different countries, and including numerous new and original translations, this anthology captures the exuberant storytelling tradition of the Jewish people, a literary heritage shaped by centuries of legends, folkore, and mysticism.  Teeming with passion and humor and rooted in the triumphant and tragic history of a people, these stories illustrate the Jewish fascination with the mysteries of the imagination and the endless possibilities of life.
 
Authors include Moacyr Scliar of Brazil; Dina Rubina of Uzbekistan, Russia, and Israel; Teresa Porzecanski of Uruguay; Joan Leegant and Steve Stern of the United States; Ruth Knafo Setton of Morocco and the United States; and many others.
 
 
Praise for
With Signs and Wonders
 
"Readers seeking refuge in the wilds of the imagination will find it here...These stories provide a comforting link with a Jewish literary tradition as old as the Bible." 
Carol Cook, Ha'aretz
 
"A rich manifestation of the Jewish culture...This anthology is a tribute to both a shared literary tradition and to a people's imagination." 
Micaela Kramer, The Forward
 
"A deliciously multifaceted journey into alternative realities.  Jaffe has the right editorial pitch: he sees literature globally.  His selections display the inquisitiveness of the rabbinical mind and the compassion of secularism." 
Ilan Stavans
 
"An anthology to be savored by scholars and lay readers alike."  Diane Matza
 
"A diverse and imaginative group of stories, recommended for Jewish studies collections." 
Gene Shaw, Library Journal