The 22nd annual festival celebrates Jewish authors, books and ideas. Featuring 24 books written by nationally and internationally acclaimed authored, participants will hear the stories behind a broad range of topics including Jewish life, historical fiction, Israeli literature, cooking, memoirs and more.
Most event are free and open to the public this year. All in-person, livestreamed and virtual author presentations are accompanied by lively Q&A sessions. Books can be purchased at our partner Mac’s Backs-Books of Coventry in Cleveland Heights.
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Annelise Heinz
Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture illustrates how the spaces between tiles and the moments between games have fostered distinct social cultures in the United States. This mass-produced game crossed the Pacific, creating waves of popularity over the twentieth century. Annelise Heinz narrates the history of this game to show how it has created a variety of meanings, among them American modernity, Chinese American heritage, and Jewish American women's culture. As it traveled from China to the United States and caught on with Hollywood starlets, high society, middle-class housewives, and immigrants alike, mahjong became a quintessentially American game.
Annelise Heinz is an assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio and international Chinese television. She has lived and played mahjong in the United States and Southwestern China.