Hanukkah Lights 2001

Candles on a menorah

Hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz, our seasonal favorite begins its second decade by conjuring up imagery of rich traditions — past and present — through storytelling. All of the stories are new, commissioned especially for NPR for the joyous holiday season.

'A Candle for Kerala' by Ariel Dorfman

This story brings a Hanukkah miracle to a lonely man in Brooklyn — an unexpected blessing from a different culture in a far corner of the world. Ariel Dorfman has written works of fiction, plays, poems, essays and films in both Spanish and English.

'After the Disaster' by E.M. Broner

This unique work is a deeply-moving portrayal of the thoughts of children lighting the Hanukkah candles for the first time after September 11. Broner is the author of Bringing Home the Light, Weave of Women, and The Women's Haggadah.

'Hanukkah in Malaga' by Peter Beagle

A poignant memoir of Hanukkah in a Spanish, Catholic household, and of its unexpected gift to a young man exploring life in a world far from home. Beagle, a well-known fantasy author, wrote the children's classic The Last Unicorn in 1968.

'The Demon Foiled' by Anne Roiphe

A modern fable that takes an often wry look at a family gathering touched by big-city politics. Yet under the spell of Hanukkah, even political spin can become an enlightening truth. Roiphe is author of Up the Sandbox and My Real Life as a Mother.

'The Miracle of the Oil' by Simone Zelitch

A touching fable of inner conflict and the challenges of tolerance. Zelitch is the author of the novel Louisa which won the Goldberg Prize from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She has also written Moses in Sinai and Confession of Jack Straw.

'Perspectives on Hanukkah' by Harry Turtledove

A challenging look at the historical context of the Hanukkah miracle, in light of recent events. Turtledove is a historian and novelist best known as the author of "alternative history" novels. His books include Marching Through Peachtree and Aftershocks, and he edited Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century.

A Note on the Music: All the music used in Hanukkah Lights 2001 is by the clarinetist Giora Feidman and his ensemble. It was taken from the albums, The Singing Clarinet, The Incredible Clarinet, and Yiddish Soul.



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