Finalist for the L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE
Winner of the MSR BOOK AWARD
Praise for God's Optimism:
"The invisible world and the mundane one are always rubbing shoulders in Yehoshua November's crafted, imagistic poems. I admire and am moved by the spirit of stillness, and honesty of inquiry of these small landscapes and stories. They are tender as candlelight, and full of the sorrowful mirth of their tradition, which treasures the unknowable."
"God's Optimism is a highly distinctive and original book, a book of serious spiritual devotion. The struggles and emotions of the book are compelling in ways that even a non-Jewish audience would be moved by. In others words--this is a work of art. I read God's Optimism with great pleasure."
“November’s poems are uncommonly good…[He] captures not only emotion but also those religious yearnings, questions, and attempts to reach out to God that are largely unspoken.”
-Sandee Brawarsky, The New York Jewish Week
“To read God’s Optimism is to remember what poetry is meant to be: musical, tender, philosophical, generous-hearted. When I read November’s poetry I am ashamed ever to have called myself a poet, for I know I am in the presence of a young master—as honest and witty as Kafka, as visionary as Doestoevski, but with a voice and presence all his own. This book is an astonishing debut.”
In “the spectacular Hasidic verse of the young and rising poet Yehoshua November…there is no hint of the falsely pious certainties such as fuel the apocalyptic passions of those who hate, but instead the more existentially harrowing vision of those who love—and who, bereft of all certitude, are sustained by the luminescent thread of the Rebbe’s mystical teachings.”
-Brett Sanders, New Works Review
“…November’s poetry reminds us that Orthodox or Reform, Jew or non-Jew, we are not so different after all.”
-Lee Chottiner, The Jewish Chronicle