Arts and Culture | Local

Book fest panel to highlight Jewish characters

Margot_A_Novelmischling-by-affinity-konarTthe-dovekeepers-alice-hoffmanhe Tucson Festival of Books returns to the University of Arizona campus March 11 and 12. Now in its ninth year, the festival is the third largest in the country, with more than 300 authors and millions of visitors attending each year.

While Jewish authors have always been among the presenters, this year, the festival puts a spotlight on Jewish characters with “Jewish Lives and Histories,” a panel discussion that will take place on Sunday, March 12 from 1-2 p.m. with authors Jillian Cantor, Alice Hoffman and Affinity Konar. Along with moderator Pam Treadwell-Rubin, they will explore how being Jewish often impacts the events in their characters’ lives, the choices they are allowed to make and the actions of those around them.

Cantor, who lives in Tucson, is an award-winning author of novels for teens and adults. Her books for adults include the widely acclaimed “Margot,” which imagines that Anne Frank’s sister survived the Holocaust and is living incognito in the United States; and “The Hours Count,” in which a young Jewish mother befriends accused spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Coming in June, Cantor’s “The Lost Letter” traces the path of a love letter that was never sent, spanning generations of families from World War II Austria to Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 books including the novel “The Dovekeepers,” set amid the siege of Masada, as well as collections of short fiction, screenplays, and fiction for children and young adults. Her newest novel is “Faithful.”

Konar’s debut novel “Mischling,” about twin sisters fighting to survive the evils of World War II, has been acclaimed as “one of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year”  by Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Doerr.

“Jewish Lives and Histories” is a free, ticketed event; visit
for more information.