Double Book Launch with Norman Ravvin & Sara Ferdman Tauben

Monday, November 7th, 2011 — 7:00 pm
Jewish Public Library, Montreal

Event Link:

Presented as part of Jewish Book Month


Sara Tauben’s Montreal book launch together with the book launch of Norman Ravvin’s third novel The Joyful Child (Gaspereau Press)

Doors open at 7 PM | Talks will be followed by a book signing with the authors | $10 at the door | $5 for members & students


Norman Ravvin’s third novel, The Joyful Child is the story of a father and his young son, who find themselves together in Toronto, and spend much of their time on the road traveling to southern Alberta, Montana, and across the country to Michigan. The novel lands, too, in Montreal and Manhattan, offering a full view of the way different locales affect the characters’ lives.

Like Ravvin’s other books, The Joyful Child is darkly funny, paying careful attention to neighbourhoods, music (especially jazz), books beloved by adults and children, and old cars – with illustrations by the Michigan-based artist Melanie Boyle.


To document the development of Montreal’s Jewish community from the 1880s until 1945, much like a detective, Sara Ferdman Tauben, tracked down Montreal’s early synagogues, uncovering disparate pieces of evidence and revealing an intriguing tale – both mysterious and familiar.

Clues are found in old maps and directories, sepia coloured photos, brittle newspaper articles, forgotten anniversary publications, and the remnants of buildings. The expert testimony of eyewitnesses lends invaluable support in understanding and decoding the traces of the past. Tauben will present an illustrated talk sharing this fascinating story.



Norman Ravvin is a writer, critic and professor. His first novel, Café des Westens, won the Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism New Fiction Award. His other books include Lola by Night; Sex, Skyscrapers and Standard Yiddish; A House of Words: Jewish Writing, Identity,and Memory; and Hidden Canada: An Intimate Travelogue. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as on CBC Radio.

Sara Ferdman Tauben has a Masters degree in Judaic Studies. She has been an active leader in the Montreal Jewish community for thirty years. A retired fashion and interior designer, she has lectured widely on the history of the Montreal’s early synagogues. In 2008, “Shuln and Shulelach: Large and Small Synagogues in Montreal and Europe” was published by the Canadian Jewish Studies Chapbook Series of Concordia University.

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