Sunday, December 11, 2022
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM (ET)
Seating is first come, first served and requires general registration.
Moment Magazine hosts a conversation with novelist Helene Wecker and critic Judith Shulevitz about the surprising profusion of golems and robots in recent fiction—artificial creatures with real emotions, real moral struggles, and maybe even genuine religious beliefs. Strangely-human robots or golems populate novels by Marge Piercy, Cynthia Ozick, Alice Hoffman, and many more. What should we make of these spiritually sophisticated non-humans? Featuring Helene Wecker, author of the acclaimed novels The Golem and the Jinni and The Hidden Palace, and Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World: A Different Order of Time. Moderator Amy E. Schwartz is Moment’s opinion and book editor and the editor of Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life.
Helene Wecker is the author of The Hidden Palace which won the CALIBA Golden Poppy Award for SF/Fantasy novels and was the Book Club pick of the year chosen by the Jewish Book Council. It is the sequel to her debut novel The Golem and the Jinni (Harper, 2013) which was awarded the Mythopoeic Award, the VCU Cabell Award, and the Harald U. Ribalow Prize. Her work has appeared in Joyland, Catamaran, and in the anthology The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories.
Judith Shulevitz is a contributing writer to The Atlantic Monthly and the author of The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (2010). She has had weekly columns at The New York Times Book Review, Slate, The New Republic, and New York Magazine and been an editor at Lingua Franca, New York Magazine, and The New Republic. Her essays have appeared in countless publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Her November 2019 cover essay for The Atlantic, “Alexa, Should We Trust You?,” looked at the unique power of voice-activated technology—that is, what makes talking speakers and cars and toys so seductive and possibly treacherous.
Amy E. Schwartz is Moment Magazine’s opinion and book editor, as well as editor of the magazine’s popular “Ask the Rabbis” section. She is editor of the 2020 book Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life, available for sale at momentmag.com. Before joining Moment in 2011, she spent 17 years as an editorial writer and weekly op ed columnist at The Washington Post, specializing in education, science and the culture wars, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 1988. She has also worked at Harper’s, The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. Schwartz is president of the non-denominational Jewish Study Center in Washington, DC.
Photo Credit: Helene Wecker © Sheldon Wecker
Co-presented by Moment Magazine.