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OCJCR Book Club – January 13

January 13, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Register at https://tinyurl.com/OCJCRBookClub.
(Books must be purchased separately)

The Barbarian Nurseries

by Hector Tobar



Sam Kolodezh


The Barbarian Nurseries examines the class and ethnic divide in modern Southern California. It was a New York Times Notable Book; and a winner of the California Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction. The Times Literary Supplement called The Barbarian Nurseries “virtuosic,” and The Los Angeles Review of Books described it as “a novel about Los Angeles, and maybe the finest we’ll see for many years.”


“The Barbarian Nurseries” is a book of extraordinary scope and extraordinary power.”

Héctor Tobar’s second novel sweeps its central character from almost-serfdom and sends her on an odyssey through the teeming mysteries of Los Angeles and the wild jungles of the California judicial system. The publishers compare it to Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities.” That’s right only up to a point, for Tobar’s concern isn’t satire but the possibilities of social inclusion and redemption. “The Barbarian Nurseries” is in the end a very human book about how none of us really know one another, about how our personal stories are always misunderstood, about the fragile yet sacrosanct chalice that is family, about the dream of freedom.

LA Times



Dr. Sam Kolodezh is a lecturer at UCSD and NYU LA. He received his Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the joint program at UCI and UCSD. He specializes in cultural theory, Shakespeare, and adaptation. He is the son of Jewish Ukrainian refugees, a lover of stories across mediums, an avid traveler, and an explorer of in-betweens. As the Jewish half of a HinJew marriage, he is committed to interfaith and intercultural dialogue. He has worked as a scholar and artist in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.


Héctor Tobar is the author of six books published in fifteen languages, including the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller: Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free.

Héctor is a Professor of English and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He’s written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harpers, National Geographic, and was a contributing writer for the New York Times opinion pages. Héctor has also been also a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and its bureau chief in Buenos Aires and Mexico City.


You can purchase this book now
on Amazon

Please check out the entire Book Club Series here


OCJCR’s Book Club Series is partially funded by a grant from


January 13, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees
Jewish Federation of Orange County