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Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada: An Anthology

Overview

Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada brings together important and innovative works from modern Jewish writers living in Canada. This anthology presents a variety of male and female voices, both established and new, some translated from French or Yiddish. Caught between a conservative British tradition and an aggressive American influence with a long immigrant history, Canadian Jewish literature has charted a unique, intermediate course.

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Overview

Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada brings together important and innovative works from modern Jewish writers living in Canada. This anthology presents a variety of male and female voices, both established and new, some translated from French or Yiddish. Caught between a conservative British tradition and an aggressive American influence with a long immigrant history, Canadian Jewish literature has charted a unique, intermediate course.

The largest community of Jewish writers in Canada can be found in Montreal, where a vibrant Yiddish culture has flourished, surrounded by a Francophone majority. Beginning with A. M. Klein and carrying through the works of Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler, Jewish writing in Montreal has adapted to changing political and linguistic pressures over the course of the twentieth century. A number of Jewish authors in this anthology write in French and are involved in translation—not just of language, but of cultural values as well.

The second largest concentration of Jewish writers in Canada is in Winnipeg and the western part of the country, where Jewish communities have strong Yiddish and socialist roots. A generation of younger writers, however, have shifted from these earlier centers to Toronto, where they form part of a multicultural mosaic, blending Jewish, Canadian, and cosmopolitan values. From Anne Michaels’s Greek island to Aryeh Lev Stollman’s Berlin and Michael Redhill’s Irish synagogue, Canadian-Jewish literature engages exile—at home abroad and abroad at home.

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Editorial Reviews

The Canadian Jewish News
"Through a lively cross-section of 17 stories and novel excerpts, the anthology reminds us that we are blessed with a cornucopia of thoughtful, engaging and significant Jewish Canadian writers. . . . Countless American undergrads who find this book on their course lists . . . are in for a special treat."—The Canadian Jewish News
Canadian Ethnic Studies
"Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada is unquestionably excellent. . . . Selections, overall, provide a good representation of the changes sweeping Canadian literary scenes throughout the twentieth century. . . . Without doubt, the writings in this collection are outstanding. . . . [T]he book exemplifies the incredible wealth of Jewish writing in Canada, both past and present."—Canadian Ethnic Studies
Shofar
“This anthology presents a variety of male and female voices, both established and new, some translated from French or Yiddish, representing the centers of Jewish life in Canada in Montreal, Winnipeg, and Toronto.”—Shofar
Prairie Fire
“Michael Greenstein. . . . does not merely edit this book, but also introduces it with a comprehensive literary history.”—Prairie Fire
American Review of Canadian Studies

"The 'Introduction' is a strong statement, erudite and thoughtful, reflecting the breadth of scholarship the author brings to his subject. Similarly, his selection of writers and their work is based on his studies in the full range of Canadian Jewish literature, and covers nearly a century of creative endeavor. The selected pieces are definitely meritorious and would make anyone's list."—Mervin Butovsky, American Review of Canadian Studies

— Mervin Butovsky

American Review of Canadian Studies - Mervin Butovsky
"The 'Introduction' is a strong statement, erudite and thoughtful, reflecting the breadth of scholarship the author brings to his subject. Similarly, his selection of writers and their work is based on his studies in the full range of Canadian Jewish literature, and covers nearly a century of creative endeavor. The selected pieces are definitely meritorious and would make anyone's list."—Mervin Butovsky, American Review of Canadian Studies
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Greenstein is an adjunct professor of Jewish studies at McGill University. He is the author of Third Solitudes: Tradition and Discontinuity in Jewish-Canadian Literature and Adele Wiseman and Her Works.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Exceprts from The favourite game 3
Excerpt from Barney's version 11
Excerpt from 'Framing Layton' 27
Mrs. Maza's salon 37
A Friday in the life of Sarah Zonabend 47
The dancer 61
Excerpt from Sara Sage 71
Excerpt from The wanderer 83
Excerpt from Hellman's scrapbook 99
Excerpt from Apikoros sleuth 111
Looking for my keys 117
Personal effects 131
By a frozen river 141
The sins of Tomas Benares 155
Maladies of the inner ear 181
Die Grosse Liebe 195
Excerpt from Fugitive pieces 211
Excerpt from Martin Sloane 221
Source acknowledgments 231
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