Dear Fellow Book Lovers,

I think it’s fair to say most of us are happy to have 2020 behind us.

Despite everything that was thrown at us, at MJBW we are extremely proud of what we were able to achieve, despite the late cancelling of our live festival. 

  • We established our regular ‘second Tuesday of the month’ live online events
  • We featured international guests including Colum McCann, Philippe Sands and Shais Rishon
  • We presented engaging panel discussions and interviews featuring local writers and intellectuals
  • We established online book club sessions
  • We launched our Book Chat video series
  • We ended the year with our acclaimed Summer Reading event

We are feeling pretty chuffed, particularly because we know that our supporters eagerly awaited and embraced each and every event.

With that in mind, I am going to push our friendship a little. Maybe nudge, rather than push. We have not been charging for any of our events – and we intend to keep this policy. Nevertheless, every event costs us money. We pay our artists, and there are obviously other costs involved.

We are extremely grateful for the donations we have received – they have helped keep everything going. We have a huge 2021 planned, and I am asking that you consider making a one-off donation, or even donating after viewing each event. I know you would have received many requests for support, but if you are able to consider making a tax-deductible donation to MJBW, it will help us keep on keeping on.

I look forward to your attendance at our first events for 2021 — an interview with US literary sensation Nicole Krauss in January (book now!) followed by the MJBW Summer Book Club The Watermill with Arnold Zable in February (bookings available soon).

Warm regards,

Nicolas Brasch

Festival Director, MJBW


A space for authors to unpack and explore their latest work
MJBW has been thrilled with the response to Season One of Book Chats announced in December.  We are very excited to launch Season Two today, the second Tuesday of January 2021 which completes the set dedicated to authors who were set to be part of the cancelled MJBW 2020. 



Professor Dennis Altman AM is the son of Jewish refugees and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation (1971). 

In Dennis's book chat, the author discusses his memoir, Unrequited Love — exploring the American and Australian influences on his life and writing, and the cultural gap between generations in terms of gay social politics.

Mark Dapin is the author of Jewish Anzacs: Jews in the Australian Military (2017) and the crime novel, King of the Cross (2009). For many years, Mark was a popular columnist in The Age’s Good Weekend magazine. He recently presented the series Myths of War for ABC Radio National.

In Mark's book chat, the author discusses his latest work, Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History. Was Vietnam a case of Australia fighting ‘other people’s wars’ — and how did the real experiences of veterans differ from our 'official' account of their treatment as returnees?

Born in Melbourne to Yiddish-speaking Polish Jews of the Holocaust generation, Anna Epstein's interest in the plight of those fleeing misfortune was awakened early. Anna worked for twenty years as editor and curator at the Jewish Museum of Australia. Lately she has worked mainly for the Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre.

In her book chat, Anna explores her work of non-fiction — Melekh Ravitsh: The Eccentric Outback Quest of an Urbane Yiddish Poet from Poland. What was Melekh Ravitsh’s outback quest, and how much did the modernist art of Yosl Bergner, Ravitsh’s son, influence her decision to write the story?

Andrea Goldsmith is a well-known Australian novelist. Her novels include The Prosperous Thief, (short-listed for the 2003 Miles Franklin award), and The Memory Trap, awarded the 2015 Melbourne Prize.

In Andrea's book chat, the author discusses her latest novel, Invented Lives, a story of identity and exile. How do we 'invent' our lives, and is it possible to be exiles within our native countries?

The seed for Andy Mia Kranz’s first book, The Secret Home, was formed through a vivid story told to her many times by her grandfather when she was a child. Andy wrote, illustrated and self-published this book. She has also worked as a medical practitioner and maker of fine timber furniture, and currently works as a lecturer in health science.

In her book chat, Andy discusses the development of her unique visual style, and balancing tale, allegory and fable against the stark background of war and the Holocaust.

Philip Salom is an award-winning poet and critically-acclaimed writer. He has published four novels and fourteen books of poetry, including Waiting and The Fifth Season

In Philip's book chat, the author discusses his 2019 novel, The Returns, a story about the eccentricities, failings and small triumphs that humans are capable of. The Returns was shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2020 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.

Each individual book chat is now available on the MJBW website — look for the Book Chats page.

This series is proudly supported by: 
  • Dr Mark and Dr Alla Medownick
  • Anonymous
  • The Australian Jewish News


Donations to MJBW enable us to continue to bring leading writers and thinkers into your homes.

Donate to MJBW
Melbourne Jewish Book Week is a not-for-profit organisation with registered charitable and Deductible Gift Recipient status. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. We appreciate your support and welcome all contributions.
Melbourne Jewish Book Week would like to express its gratitude to the continued support of the following sponsors:

Stay safe, stay well and keep reading everyone

If you wish to contact us, please email

Melbourne Jewish Book Week takes place on the land of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and future.
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