Over the last decade, author-translator Michael Wex has become the public voice of Yiddish culture — especially for the non-Yiddish-speaking public.
A native of Canada’s Alberta province and a longtime native of Toronto, he has written a series of best-selling non-fiction books (in addition to a few novels; he also does song-writing and lecturing) that explain the Jewish language and Jewish way of life in a knowing, usually humorous tone. The non-fiction list includes three books: “Born to Kvetch,” “Just Say Nu” and “How to Be a Mentsh.”
Wex’s newest book is about food. “Rhapsody in Schmaltz” (St. Martin’s Press) looks at Jewish beliefs and behavior through a gastronomic lens, covering such subjects as the kosher laws and various halachic practices, Jewish history and the way Jews are represented on TV and in the movies.
Wex took some time away from his busy schedule of writing about — and thinking about — food the other day to speak with The Jewish Week.