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Three Minutes in Poland:
Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

November 11, 2014.


Three Minutes in Poland is featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Rachel Martin, November 16, 2014.


"Kurtz’s tenacious research and sensitive reporting make this book a gem." —The Christian Science Monitor

"Kurtz’s quest to learn about the lost world depicted in his grandfather’s home movie is at the heart of this deeply moving, gorgeously written book."— The Boston Globe.

"The degree of detail in this work is staggering: The closer Kurtz peered, the more he learned of a rich, vibrant world on the brink of extinction." —Kirkus

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upcoming events:

Sunday, November 9: West Bloomfield, MI, Detroit Metro Book Fair Eugene & Marcia Applebaum Jewish Community Campus, 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI. 1:00pm..

Monday, November 10: Baltimore, MD, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Avenue. 7:00pm.

Wednesday, November 12: New York City, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center, One East 65th Street. 6:30pm.

Thursday, November 13: Philadelphia, PA, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adath Israel, 250 N. Highland Avenue, Merion Station, PA. 7:00pm.

Monday, November 17: San Francisco, CA, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Jewish Community Library in San Francisco, 1835 Ellis Street. 7:00pm.

Wednesday, November 19: Los Angeles, CA, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Irmas Campus, 11661 West Olympic Boulevard. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, December 2: Boca Raton, FL, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Polo Club Boca Raton, 5400 Champion Boulevard. 7:00pm.

Wednesday, December 3: Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Ballen Isles Country Club, 100 Ballen Isles Circle. 7:00pm

Thursday, December 4: Aventura, FL, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, 20400 NE 30th Avenue. 7:00pm.

Tuesday, December 9: Chicago, IL, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mayer Brown, 71 South Wacker Drive. 12:00pm.

Tuesday, December 9: Northbrook, IL, Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Congregation Beth Shalom, 3433 Walters Avenue. 7:00pm.

Thursday, December 11: Washington, D.C., Rescuing the Evidence: Three Minutes in Poland, presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street NW. 7:00pm.

Monday, December 15: Cambridge, MA, Harvard Bookstore, 1256 Massachusetts Ave. 7:00pm.


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Video of the panel discussion "Translating Kafka, with Jay Cantor, Susan Bernofsky, and Peter Mendeulsund, is now on YouTube. We celebrated the launch of Susan's new translation of Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Jay's Forgiving the Angel. Four Stories for Franz Kafka, and the brilliance of Peter's Kafka covers. January 31, 2014, at NYU's Deutsches Haus.

Thanks to the Grand Canyon Classical Guitar Society for hosting a reading from Practicing at the Northern Arizona Book Festival in Flagstaff, AZ, Saturday, May 18, 2013.

Video of my presentation at TEDx, Bergen Community College, April 26, 2013.

A beautiful piece about "Three Minutes in Poland" in Haaretz, written by Judy Maltz.

Interview with physical therapist Diana Rumrill about Practicing.

Practicing is featured on BBC Radio 4, "Something Understood," June 24, 2012, 6:03am and 11:30pm.

A lovely piece about "Conversations on Practice" by Jennifer Hamady on the Huffington Post.

Practicing was featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review's "Paperback Row."

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Interviews & Podcasts

Hear my interview on "Weekend Edition" with Scott Simon (National Public Radio).

Listen to my interview on "Inquiry" with Mark Lynch (WICN-FM, Worcester, MA).

Hear my interview with Steve Paulson on "To the Best of Our Knowledge" (Wisconsin Public Radio, broadcast nationally).

Here's an interview with Jim Lange on "Classically Speaking" (West Virginia Public Radio).

Read my playlist on the New York Times bookblog, "Paper Cuts."

Read an excerpt from my interview on Bloomberg News with Robin Schatz.

Here's my interview on "The Leonard Lopate Show" (WNYC, New York, 93.9).

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Past Events & Readings

Thursday, June 10: "That Reminds Me." a celebration for A Public Space at The Kitchen (512 W. 19th St., New York).

April 28, 2009: Reading at Other Means Reading Series, Flying Saucer Cafe (494 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn) 8:00 p.m.

September 27, 2008: Reading at Moon News Bookstore (315 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA) 7:00 p.m.

September 24, 2008: Reading at Capitola Book Cafe (1475 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA) 7:00 p.m. Special musical performance by classical guitarist Hunter Mah.

August 25, 2008: Reading at Barnes & Noble (2289 Broadway@82nd St., New York City). 7:00 p.m.

August 23, 2008: Reading at Horizon Books (243 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI). 4:00 p.m.

August 15, 2008: Reading at Chapters Bookstore (78 North Street, Pittsfield, MA). 6:00 p.m.

August 8, 2008: Reading and Launch Party at the Hosfelt Gallery (430 Clementina, between Howard and Folsom, 5th and 6th Streets, San Francisco). 6:00 p.m. Special musical performance by Hunter Mah.

July 24, 2008: Panel discussion on "Practicing Art" with artists Emil Lukas, Paul Ramirez-Jonas, and dancer/choreographer Douglas Dunn at the Hosfelt Gallery (New York). 7:00 p.m.

June 26, 2008: Reading at the Hosfelt Gallery (New York). 7:00 p.m. Performance by guitarist Paul Smith.

June 23, 2008: Keynote Address at American Harp Society Conference (Detroit, MI).

April 26, 2008: Reading at the Boston Classical Guitar Society's New Music Festival, Northeastern University (Boston, MA). 2:00 p.m.

April 18, 2008: Reading at Barnes & Noble Arboretum (Austin, TX). 7:30 pm.

February 7, 2008: Interview on "Write On! Radio" (KFAI, Minneapolis) 12:00 pm (EST).

June 19: Reading and release party at Labyrinth Books, New York. 7:00 p.m.

June 20: Reading at the Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA. Special musical performance by Aaron Larget-Caplan. 6:30 p.m.

June 29: Interview on "The Jordan Rich Show" (WBZ, Boston).

July: Interview on "The Literati Scene" with Smoki Bacon (Channel 23, Boston).

July 10: Reading at the Stanford University Bookstore. 6:30 p.m.

July 11: Interview on "The Morning Show" with Andrea Lewis (KPFA, Berkeley). 8:30 a.m.

July 11: Reading at Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco. Special musical performance by Elliot Simpson. 7:00 p.m.

July 12: Reading at Mrs. Dalloway's, Berkeley. 7:30 p.m.

July 14: Interview on West Coast Live with Sedge Thomson. (KALW 91.7, San Francisco & Oakland)10:00 a.m. Pacific time.

July 23: Reading at Barnes Noble @ Lincoln Center, New York. Special musical performance by Nadav Lev. 7:00 p.m.

July 24: Interview on "The Joey Reynolds Show." (WOR-AM, 710, New York).

July 25: Interview on "Here and Now" with David Boeri (NPR/WBUR, Boston). 12:45 p.m.

July 26: Interview on "To the Point" with Anneke van der Veen (KWMR, West Marin, CA). 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

July 31: Reading at Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO. 7:30 p.m.

August 15: Interview on "WGBB Tonight" with Larry Davidson (WGBB-AM 1240, Long Island) 6:00 p.m.

August 19: Reading at "Writers on the Vine" (Palmer Vineyards, Aquebogue, New York) 11:30 a.m.

Interview in Music Connection Magazine with Mark Nardone. Issue no. 17 (Aug. 13-26, 2007).

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The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has placed Practicing on its summer reading list.

The Chicago Tribune has named Practicing a "hot read for the summer.

Read a five-question interview on John Craig's blog

Practicing makes the front page of the Roslyn News.