With All Thine Heart: Love and the Bible

Ilan Stavans, Author, Mordecai Drache, Author
Ilan Stavans with Mordecai Drache, Rutgers Univ., $21.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8135-4797-8
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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Cultural critic Stavans (Love and Language), a Mexican-born Jew who teaches Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College, conducts his newest conversation on paper with writer Drache. The conversational form, representing exchanges conducted by phone and e-mail, takes some getting used to. Stavans's thoughts flow freely in response to a question; on occasion the thought train shifts abruptly. But overall the form is delightfully jazzy, as Stavans roams over what he knows, which is considerable, given that he writes fiction and nonfiction; edits anthologies and other collections; translates; and collaborates on cartoons. The conversation partners consider key books and ideas from the Hebrew Bible from Genesis to Job. The form allows for hundreds of quips and insights ("You're selling me the Bible? As an editor, I would buy it in an instant"). The brilliant Stavans redeems the culturally maligned term "humanist." (Sept.)
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