Simpsons writer Mike Reiss among guests at this year’s Jewish Book Festival

Cartoon Mike Reiss and the real thing. The Simpsons writer closes this year’s Jewish Book Festival.

This year’s Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival (Feb. 9-14) features an author named one of Granta’s Best American Novelists, a former writer for The Simpsons, and the winner of the 2018 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Fiction. Scroll below to find out more about these authors and more, and to see what else is happening at the six-day literary festival.

Joshua Cohen, the author named by literary publication Granta as one of American’s best, is the author of the 2017 novel Moving Kings. He is also the author of the non-fiction collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. He hosts the Opening Night Gala on Feb. 9.

Mike Reiss is the special guest at closing night on Feb. 14. Reiss spent three decades writing for The Simpsons and lived to tell the tale, which he does in Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.

Natalie Morrill, a graduate of the UBC’s Creative Writing program, headlines the festival’s annual Book Clubs Event. Her book The Ghost Keeper is a historical debut novel which takes place in Vienna before and after World War II.

Author Natalie Morrill. Esther Barrett photo.

Events include A Mind, Body and Soul Day. CBC’s Dr. Brian Goldman (The Power of Kindness), US author Rachel Herz (Why You Eat What You Eat) and beloved local doctor Michael C. Klein (Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo, winner of the 2018 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards for Non-Fiction) are among the guests.

The festival is also presenting its first French-language event to showcase Michele Smolkin her recent novel Silence, je tombe. There are also meet-the-author opportunities, readings and panel discussions.

Other guests include US author Margot Singer (Underground Fugue); Tilar J. Mazzio (Irena’s Children); New Zealand author Diana Wichtel (winner of the 2018 Ockham National Book Award in the Non-Fiction category for her memoir, Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father); and more.

The festival takes place at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver and other Lower Mainland venues. For more info and tickets, visit

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