Jewish Book Week 2023 Saturday 25 February - Sunday 05 March | Tickets now on sale

Leonard Cohen in the Sinai

Matti Friedman

Chair: Hugo Rifkind

26/02/2023 8:00 pm
Kings Place, Hall 1

Ticket Price : £15:00

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October 1973: Leonard Cohen is world famous, highly admired – yet unhappy and at a creative dead end. Rather than resort to a more routine rock star response, he swapped his Greek island lifestyle for the chaos and bloodshed of the frontlines of the Yom Kippur War, armed only with his guitar and some local musicians. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this unique concert tour journalist Matti Friedman tells this little-known story in Who By Fire, alongside never-before-seen extracts from Cohen’s own unfinished manuscript and rare photographs. It was a life-changing experience for the singer-songwriter and an unforgettable one for the hundreds of young men and women he encountered. A Tablet columnist, former New York Times essayist and author of award-winning books Pumpkinflowers, The Aleppo Codex, and Spies of No Country, Matti returns to Jewish Book Week with this fascinating account.

Click here to buy a copy of Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai by Matti Friedman


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Matti Friedman

Matti Friedman is an award-winning journalist and author. Born in Toronto and based in Jerusalem, his work has appeared regularly in the New York TimesThe AtlanticTablet, and elsewhere. His most recent book is Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sanai. His last book, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel, won the 2019 Natan Prize and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for history. Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War was chosen in 2016 as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Amazon’s 10 best books of the year. His first book, The Aleppo Codex, won the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize and the ALA’s Sophie Brody Medal. Image cr. Mary Anderson

Hugo Rifkind

Hugo Rifkind is an award-winning Edinburgh-born journalist who writes columns for The TimesThe Spectator and GQ. He writes the satirical Times column My Week on Saturdays and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

The Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Book Week 2023 is proud to partner with the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest Jewish newspaper.