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Leora Krygier

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Press Release
Saturday, April 05, 2003  6:09:00 PM

by Leora Krygier

Literary Fiction
Reviews of First the Raven


A story of modern day redemption

Los Angeles -- Leora G. Krygier, author of FIRST THE RAVEN (ISBN 1-59129-166-6) 184 pages, US$19.95, published by AmErica House (Baltimore), will be speaking at the Beverly Hills Library on March 19, 2003. Other book signings at Dutton’s Brentwood Books and Barnes and Noble Encino. The novel is available on, Barnes & and through all other booksellers.

Against the backdrop of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the rift between secular and Orthodox Jews, FIRST THE RAVEN explores the repercussions of loss and family secrets, and the power of small acts of forgiveness. It is the story of a Holocaust survivor who becomes the spiritual guide for an Israeli ex-paratrooper in a tale of reconciliation.

“Leora G. Krygier’s first novel, FIRST THE RAVEN, soars. From the opening sentence: ‘Amir was driving fast up Whitsett when a tiny stone flew up, sank into his windshield like a pockmark,’ the reader is captivated by the linguistic spell Krygier casts. Krygier’s poetic prose makes reading FIRST THE RAVEN a sensory delight. She has demonstrated beautifully how deeply connected we all are; how despite our theological differences and external trappings, we are indeed very alike.” – Cleveland Jewish News.

“FIRST THE RAVEN tells of an Israeli family – father, mother and teenage daughter who have lived in the Los Angeles area for 10 years, and now find themselves drifting apart. No longer quite home in Israel, yet not fully Americanized either, this new type of Diaspora Jew, who often feels more Israeli than Jewish, is learning how to redefine itself, and the process can be a painful one. Krygier tells an engaging story of struggle and reconciliation that rings true and that can provide insight into the dilemmas faced by the Israelis living among us.” – Chicago Jewish Star

“The relationship between Rosenberg and Amir is welded by an understanding that tranacends politics and the external trappings of religion. Rosenberg becomes Amir’s spiritual guide, helping the younger man to get beyond the traumas of his past. Amir in turn helps Rosenberg exorcise the ghosts that have haunted him for over half a century. The novel possesses clarity and credibility –the Israeli-run café in L.A. in which Amir and Rosenberg regularly meet is so authentic readers can taste the tehina. Rosenberg’s character is compelling and beautifully drawn. He is a rabbi worth knowing, just as FIRST THE RAVEN, a fine, sensitively written debut novel, is worth reading.” – Washington Jewish Week

“FIRST THE RAVEN is a first novel by Leora Krygier, but you would have not guessed it as the sheer warmth, freshness and mastery of narrative suggest firm familiarity and ease in portraying complex, yet engrossing and captivating characters who spring right from the printed page. The chance encounter between the secular, rough-edge Sabra and the kind Rabbi, with deep roots in Eastern Europe and the Holocaust opens the gate to worlds long gone or forgotten. A spiritual and moving piece.” - John Bernstein, PHD, Professor of Film, Boston University.

“Leora Krygier has written a vivid, compelling story set in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, where a family tries to come to grips with the legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of Israel.”
- Rolf Gompertz, author of ABRAHAM THE DREAMER

“There are times when I stumble, by chance or destiny, across a gem. In cases like this, I cannot contain myself and I must share it. Leora Krygier and her powerful novel FIRST THE RAVEN is just such a gem.”
- Jamie Ramirez, Barnes and Noble, Encino, CA

“Authors of fiction rarely choose to tell a story because it is timely and that it is especially true of fine literary fiction. Somehow, FIRST THE RAVEN appears in print just when interest in its subject matter is high, precisely when its message is needed. Krygier tells this story with sensitivity and with a command of language not seen in many mainstream novels. It is the kind of story that gives us something to take away with us once we have turned its last page.”
-Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Heritage Florida Jewish News

“Like out of Chekhov’s THREE SISTERS, the way they look back to Moscow, {the immigrants in this story} look back to Jerusalem. A terrific novel, a slow melody.”
- Connie Martinson of “Connie Martinson Talks Books”

Leora Krygier was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, she moved to Jerusalem and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Law where she received a degree in law and worked as an intern for the Harry S. Truman Center for Peace Research. She then spent two years living and writing in France.
Ms. Krygier returned to the United States where she worked as a writer for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a research attorney for the presiding judge of the Juvenile Court and a civil litigator. Currently, she is a Referee with the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles and has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times for her innovative use of essay writing in sentencing youthful offenders. Ms. Krygier has been a finalist in the Ernest Hemingway First Novel Competition, the James Fellowship for First Novels and the William Faulkner Writing Competition. In both her work as a judge with the Juvenile Court and as a writer, Ms. Krygier practices the art of conflict resolution, trying to bridge divergent views and worlds. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David, and two children and is writing another novel.

Other reviews and interviews available on,, and


 More News about Leora Krygier
Press Release - 11/19/2004 10:09:00 PM

Books by
Leora Krygier

First the Raven

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