Of Gods and Lemurs

I have just self-published my latest (seventh) book, entitled “Of Gods and Lemurs.”  I gave a talk about this at the AACI Netanya.  How did I come to this unusual title?  In the past years I found myself writing two quite distinct works at the same time.  One was on my views about being a Jewish atheist, based partly on lectures that I had given over the years at our English speaking club in Netanya.  I decided to call this “The Tolerant Atheist,” which is a work of non-fiction.  It includes my analysis of religion and the scientific basis for declaring not that God does not exist, but that “God is an unnecessary hypothesis.” The other story was based on a true and disturbing incident that once happened to me.

By chance I stumbled innocently into a family quarrel that had been going on for 20 or more years, and later when I learned of the tragic origin of that situation, I decided to write a story based on it. For obvious reasons I changed the time and place of the situation, to the UK in the 1930’s during the rise of Nazism in Germany and Mosley’s Blackshirts in Britain.  Somehow that also became intertwined with my fascination for the lemurs of Madagascar, which led to my writing the fictional story “Discovering Humanity.” It includes an expedition to Madagascar to study the lemurs and the amazing discovery of a new highly developed species of lemur there.

Neither of these stories was long enough to constitute a book on its own, so I decided to combine them.  But, what to call such a combination.   Then the answer came to me, taking the essential element of each, “Of Gods and Lemurs.

During that period I had also visited Portugal with an organized AACI group to see sites of Jewish heritage there and I had written a journal of my trip.  I had also written a short story based on the name of the city of Phoenix and the redemption of a woman who had been trapped into a life of drugs and sex.  I called it “Phoenix, Phoenix.”  Quite a heady mix, a veritable melange.  There must be a connecting thread in there somewhere, probably in my sub-conscious.   Hopefully the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

I have published this book “Of Gods and Lemurs” on-line in Createspace where it is available for a small fee (at https://www.createspace.com/5861467) on a print-on-demand.  It is also available on the parent company web-site Amazon.com (at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1519255608).  I am confident you will find it a fascinating read.

For your information, my previous books are: “Amanuensis” (2009), a fictionalized auto-biography, including growing up in the East End of London, going to Cambridge University and a family secret; “Discovering America” (2009), a diverse collection of short stories; “Trove” (2009), a collection of novellas; “Confessions of a Jewish Activist” (2010), including a trip to the former Soviet Union to contact Jewish refuseniks and an underground Jewish group; “Antisense” (2014), a description of a real front-line cancer/AIDS drug research project and the sometimes disturbing personal interactions involved; “Zionism: A Love Story” (2015), the incredible true story of an Anglo-Chilean Christian who went to England to get an education, fell in love with a Jewish girl, then fell in love with Zionist socialism and ended up living on a kibbutz in Israel and had two sons who became ultra-Orthodox Jews (haredim), and finally the story has an unexpected twist.  All of these books are available on Amazon.com; see my author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001HOL22I .  Most of them are also available on Kindle for e-book readers.  

My web-site is http://www.jackcohenart.com, where you can see my latest paintings, including recent portraits and shadow paintings, as well as further information about these books.  If you wish to contact me, my e-mail address is: cohen.jack@yahoo.com (in Israel you can order copies of books directly from me).


3 thoughts on “Of Gods and Lemurs

  1. I always thought that an Atheist believed in God but not religion. Would you not be an Agnostic if you believe in neither?


  2. Jack,

    I am working on introducing additional paragraphs into my new book based on a phrase you came up with in your AACI talk.

    I am reading up on Occam’s Razor and working it into BDS being an unnecessary hypothesis. You related to it as part of your atheism. I am using it to expose the paucity of the BDS intellectual depth.

    As such, I came across this quotation as part of my research;

    Professor Malcolm Levitt, of Southampton University, stated that: “Israel has a totally explicit policy of making life impossible for the non-Jewish population and I find it totally unacceptable. As a scientist, the tool I have available to prevent the normalisation of that situation is boycott.”

    As a scientist, what is your opinion on a respected academic and lecturer such as Levitt pronouncing his biased and simplistic (false) opinion on the condition of non-Jewish Israelis to add gravitas to a BDS anti-Israel cause.



    • This statement is completely false, Israel as a State does not “make life impossible for the non-Jewish population.” Anyone can come here and see for themselves. What one must do though is distinguish between the Israeli Arabs who are citizens of Israel and the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, who are NOT Israeli citizens. Therefore Israel has no responsibility for them, but the Palestine Authority and Hamas do. Blame them if they are mistreated and remain poor after billions of dollars have been gifted by foreign donors.


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