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The Center for Fiction and Jewish Book Council Present: Moriel Rothman-Zecher on Before All the World with Jason Diamond

October 12, 2022

Continuing our partnership with Jewish Book Council, The Center for Fiction was thrilled to have welcomed Dayton Literary Peace Prize and National Jewish Book Award finalist Moriel Rothman-Zecher to the stage for a conversation on his mesmerizing, inventive novel, Before All the World. In 1930s Philadelphia, three souls seize new life while haunted by the old. Nestled in this wild dream of a narrative are several love stories: two men of different countries and races who find comfort in each other; a man and a woman who spark each other’s lust through intellectual play; a woman and a boy who are the only survivors of their history; a man and the daughter he will never know. Rothman-Zecher explores the impossibility of escaping trauma, the necessity of believing in a better way ahead, and the power that comes from our responsibility to the future. He was joined in conversation by Jason Diamond (Searching for John Hughes).

Presented with Jewish Book Council.


  • Rothman-Zecher, Moriel (c) Andy Snow - Eliana Cohen-Orth

    Moriel Rothman-Zecher

    Moriel Rothman-Zecher

    Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a Jerusalem-born novelist and poet. His first novel, Sadness Is a White Bird, was a finalist for a Dayton Literary Peace Prize and a National Jewish Book Award, won an Ohioana Book Award, and was longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His poetry and essays have been published in Barrelhouse, Colorado Review, the Common, the New York Times, the Paris Review Daily, and ZYZZYVA, and he is the recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honor, two MacDowell Fellowships, and Yiddishkayt’s Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship.

    Photo Credit: Andy Snow

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    Jason Diamond

    Jason Diamond

    Jason Diamond is the author of the memoir Searching for John Hughes and the essay collection The Sprawl. He’s a contributor at GQ and has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Paris Review, New York magazine, the Atlantic and many other publications.