American Talmud: The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction

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Looks at the role of Jewish American fiction in the larger context of American culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This study helpfully classifies a subculture of American literature.— American Jewish History

"Ezra Cappell's American Talmud is a brave book."— American Literary Scholarship

"The question of the Jewishness of Jewish American writers is the central question of the genre, and Cappell tackles this question head on. Cappell's incisive, wise, and utterly convincing examination of the theological underpinnings of the contemporary Jewish American imagination will surely have to be reckoned with as it cuts against the grain of much contemporary literary criticism in the field."— Andrew Furman, author of Israel Through the Jewish-American Imagination: A Survey of Jewish-American Literature on Israel, 1928-1995

"With both authority and a rare kind of scholarly clarity, Cappell connects the issues of Jewish modernity-identity, memory, nature of evil, role of God in history-between Talmud and postmodernity in America. This book not only makes the case for the continuing habit of Jewish American writers to revisit their religious archives, but also for cultural studies to include the sedimentation of religious culture in its historicizing of American culture."— Gloria L. Cronin, coeditor of Jewish American and Holocaust Literature: Representation in the Postmodern World"
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ezra Cappell is Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Inter-American Jewish Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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Table of Contents


1. Henry Roth’s First Novel: Call It Jewish?

2. Reflecting the World: Bernard Malamud’s Post-Holocaust Judaism

3. Bellow’s Short Fiction: Something Jewish To Remember Him By

4. Rebecca Goldstein: The Ethics of Second-Generation Witnessing

5. Four Questions for Allegra Goodman

6. Henry Roth’s Second Novel: Mercy for a Rude Youth

Conclusion: The Future of Jewish Fiction in America

Appendix: An Interview with Rebecca Goldstein

Works Cited

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