About the Author

Mark Cohen is a writer and speaker specializing in the Jewish American scene, from the novels of Saul Bellow to the pop culture comedy of Allan Sherman. 

His articles have appeared in American Jewish HistorySaul Bellow JournalHistory of PhotographyModern Judaism and newspapers such as the ForwardLos Angeles TimesDaily News, and Newsday. He is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Cohen is represented by Ted Weinstein Literary Management

To email Mark, click here.


Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life, 2013).
  • "A superb, absorbing account." -- Prof. Stephen Whitfield, Brandeis U.
  • "An entertaining, informative, and ultimately moving story." Prof. Victor L. Cahn, Skidmore College.
  • "A remarkably well-researched, passionately written story of quite nearly tragic proportions."  -- Eric Alterman, author and The Nation columnist

Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim (Syracuse University Press, 2010). 

  • "This collection not only restores to print the heart of Krim's achievement, but balances it out with lesser-known pieces that show his judicious lucidity, side-by-side with his manic melancholy exuberance. And Mark Cohen has done an excellent job of placing Krim in an historical and literary context."  Phillip Lopate, editor, The Art of the Personal Essay

  • "An important addition to the study of Sephardic Jews and an essential building block in what I hope is the burgeoning field of Balkan Jewish studies. … Cohen has done an impressive job, and no library - certainly no center of Jewish studies - would be complete without this book."The Forward


"Is Rick Moranis 'Too Jewish'?" Forward. June 27, 2013. 

“A Recognizable Jewish Type: Saul Bellow’s Dr. Tamkin and Valentine Gersbach as Jewish Social History.” Contemporary Literary Criticism (Cengage Learning, 2013). Reprinted from Modern Judaism (Fall 2007). Peer reviewed.

“The End of the Reign in Spain.” Book review. Forward. Jan. 7, 2011.

“A Profane Reliquary: Saul Bellow’s Life in Letters.” Forward. Nov. 5, 2010.

“Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, Hello Grandkids of My Original Fans: The Enduring Appeal of Singer Songwriter Allan Sherman.” Forward.  Oct. 22, 2010.

“Mark Cohen on Seymour Krim.” Forward. Sept. 16, 2010. Podcast.

“A Jewish Frankenstein: new film paints Norman Finkelstein as a belated victim of the Warsaw Ghetto.” Forward. April 13, 2010.

“Drawing on Hitler’s Book: New exhibition in San Francisco takes Mein Kampf as starting point for Jewish struggle.” Forward. February 26, 2010.

“Cruelty of the Soup Bone: The Chicago Eccentric Behind Saul Bellow’s ‘A Sermon by Doctor Pep.’” ANQ Journal (Spring 2009). Peer reviewed.

“It’s a Small World: Albert Kahn’s 100-year-old photography project brought humanity into focus.” Tablet. January 8, 2009.

“Seymour Krim.” In Encyclopedia of Jewish-American Literature, Gloria L. Cronin and Alan Berger, eds. (Facts on File, 2009)

“Saul Bellow’s Favorite Thought on Herzog? The Evidence of An Unpublished Bellow Letter.” Notes on Contemporary Literature 38.4 (September 2008)

“Soldier of Misfortune: Did Hyman Minsky’s Jewish Upbringing help him predict the financial crisis?” Nextbook. September 16, 2008.

“Allan Sherman.” In Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records, the first fifty years, by Warren Zanes (San Francisco, 2008).

“Missing A Beat: The Overlooked Jewish Writings of Seymour Krim.” Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture (September 2007).

“A Recognizable Jewish Type: Saul Bellow’s Dr. Tamkin and Valentine Gersbach as Jewish Social History.” Modern Judaism. Fall 2007. Peer reviewed.

“My Fair Sadie: Allan Sherman and a Paradox of American Jewish Culture.” American Jewish History (March 2007). Peer reviewed.

“Allan Sherman Liner Notes.” My Son, The Box (Rhino Entertainment Company, 2005).

“.Howl.” (A parody of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”) ZYZZYVA (Fall, 2005).

“Allan Sherman: A Different Kind of Jewish Music.” Heritage (Fall 2004).

“Body Language: Spoken vs. Silent Communication in Herzog.” Saul Bellow Journal 20:2 (Fall, 2004). Peer reviewed.

“Disaster and Change in an Ottoman Sephardic Community: Moses Montefiore and the Monastir Fire of 1863.” Journal of Jewish Studies (Spring 2004). Peer reviewed.

“How the West Won: The Arrival of the Alliance Israélite Universelle to the Community of Monastir.” The Sephardi Report (Spring 2004).

“Tower of Sephardic Faces.” US Holocaust Museum Website. Photographic exhibit on the Monastir Jews with text from Last Century of a Sephardic CommunityHolocaust Museum.

“Foreword.” Bitola (Monastir) Holocaust Memorial Book (New York: National Yiddish Book Center, 2004).

“Early Photographs of Albania and Macedonia by Josef Székely.” History of Photography (Summer 2003).

“Monastir: Oasis of Civilization, 1839-63.” Turkish Studies Association Bulletin (Fall 2000). Peer reviewed.

“Jobless Find They Have a Job: Staying Busy.” Contra Costa Times, April 23, 1995.

“United Nations Greeters Extend Welcoming Hand to Diplomats’ Spouses.” Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1993.

“The Arms and the Man.” Daily News, June 10, 1993.

“Library Feels World Pulse.” New York Newsday, March 19, 1993.

“Meet’s Best Thing on Menu,” Daily News, December 27, 1992.

“New Yorkers Buy Pieces of Their Rock.” Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1992.

“The Suffering Joker in Jewish Fiction.” Midstream (Aug/Sept 1984).

Past author talks (not about Allan Sherman)

Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City. August 11, 2010. Seymour Krim book reading.

McNally Jackson bookstore, New York City. August 10, 2010. Seymour Krim book reading.

Dickinson College. April 15, 2009. “My Fair Sadie: Allan Sherman and Jewish-American Culture.” 

UCLA. October 26, 2008. “How the West Won: French Schools Arrive in the Sephardic World.”

Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. November 1, 2007. 
“Missing a Beat: The Forgotten Writings of Seymour Krim, the Once Celebrated and Unhappily Jewish Beat Writer, Editor, and (Self-Proclaimed) Failure.” 

Jewish Community Library, San Francisco. March 1, 2006. 
“Zelig and His Friends: A Look at Some Giants of Jewish Assimilation.” 

Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation, Indianapolis. Nov. 12, 2005. “Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.” 

Indiana University. Nov. 10, 2005. 
“How the West Won: The Victory of the Alliance Over the Talmud Torah in the Sephardic Community of Monastir.” 

San Francisco Public Library, main branch. Sept. 15, 2005. 
“.Howl” (a high-tech parody of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl”). 

Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Oakland, Calif. June 21, 2005. 
“How I Wrote My Lost Family History.” 

Shomrei Torah Synagogue, West Hills, Calif. March 11-12, 2005. Scholar-in-Residence. 

MID Lecture Series, Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro, Calif. March 3, 2005. “Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.”

Berkeley/Richmond JCC. Feb. 9, 2005. 
“Giants of Assimilation: A Rogues’ Gallery of A Vanishing Jewish Type.” 

Magnes Museum, Berkeley, Calif. January 27, 2005. “Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.” 

Jewish Community Agency, Sonoma County, Calif. Dec. 6, 2004. 
“Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.”

California State University, Northridge. Oct. 26, 2004. 
“Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.” 

 Berkeley/Richmond JCC’s, “Kol Sippur: A Festival of Jewish Storytelling.” Oct. 10, 2004. 
“The Unorthodox Lessons of Sephardic Folk Tales.”

Marin Osher JCC, San Raphael, Calif. Oct. 8, 2004. 
“Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.” 

Marin Osher JCC, San Raphael, Calif. Aug. 19, 2004. 
“Writing My Lost Family History.”

Stroum JCC, Seattle. April 25, 2004. 
“The Destruction of the Sephardic Jews of Monastir.”

Jewish Community Library, Los Angeles. March 23, 2004. 
“Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.”

Contra Costa JCC, Walnut Creek, Calif. March 9, 2004. 
“Long Live the King: Women in Power in Sephardic Folk Tales.”


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