Rebecca Abrams

Photo Credit: David Levenson

Rebecca Abrams is an award winning author of fiction and non-fiction, regular literary critic for The Financial Times and former columnist for The Daily Telegraph. She is Writer-in-Residence at Brasenose College, Oxford.

A Passion for Science

The author of Touching Distance, a novel based on the true story of a brilliant doctor who discovered germ theory a century before Lister, but died with his reputation in tatters, shared with us her fascination for scientific discovery, the difference between truth and knowledge and the moral responsibilities that accompany discoveries.

Get out of my Life…. But first take me and Alex into town

Suzanne Franks and Rebecca Abrams explored the mysterious world of teenagers and gave parents some tips on how to survive the period, remain sane and still love our kids.

Marriage in the Suburbs
Jewish Book Week presented two witty novels of marriage in the suburbs: in London’s Hampstead Garden Suburb, childhood sweethearts Adam and Rachel are set for a life of domestic bliss. In Chicago, Edie, matriarch of the Middlesteins, is eating herself to death and her family can’t stop her. Francesca Segal discussed The Innocents with Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins. Positioned respectively at the start and end of a marriage, both these books look fondly at Jewish habits...
Out of Palestine: The Lasting Influence of the British Mandate
A journey back to British Mandate Palestine, peopled by Arabs, Jews and Britons, a intriguing world whose shadow lingers over Israel today. Journalist and novelist Hadara Lazar interviewed more than 100 people over 25 years for a collection of perspectives that show what has been remembered and ignored, refuted and admitted. “My purpose is not to research what used to be but to uncover what people remember from that time, to find the link between their words and the myth that was...
Keiron Pim and Miri Rubin Medieval Norwich
How was life for Jews in medieval England? Recent scholarship and a groundbreaking new translation of Hebrew poetry from Norwich shed light on a dark period of Anglo-Jewish history. Keiron Pim and Miri Rubin discuss the Jew Meir of Norwich and the writings of a monk, Thomas of Monmouth, the first Christian narrative to link Jews to child murder. Into the Light the Medieva...
The Cut Out Girl

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018, and described by Philippe Sands as ‘Luminous, elegant, haunting’, The Cut Out Girl tells the true story of the author’s grandparents, and the young girl they fostered to hide her from the Nazis in occupied Holland. This is a deeply moving story of family, loss and the devastation wrought by war.

Kafka’s Last Trial? Contested Literary Legacies and Cultural Property
When Franz Kafka died in 1924, his loyal champion Max Brod could not bring himself to fulfil his friend’s last instruction: to burn his remaining manuscripts. Instead, Brod devoted the rest of his life to publishing and canonising Kafka’s work. That ‘betrayal’ of his friend’s last wish led to an international legal battle — raising the question of whether Kafka’s papers should come to rest in Germany, or be considered the cultural inheritance of Israel. ...
Dreamers: When the Writers Took Power
Munich, November 1918: in the final days of WWI, revolutionaries occupied official buildings and overthrew the monarchy. At the head of the newly declared Free State of Bavaria was journalist and theatre critic, Kurt Eisner. He was joined by the luminaries of German cultural history — Thomas Mann, Ernst Toller and Rainer Maria Rilke. Yet the idyll would not last: in February 1919, Eisner was assassinated and the dream shattered. But, while it survived, it was the writers, poets, playwright...