Exiles on Main Street: Jewish American Writers and American Literary Culture

Exiles on Main Street: Jewish American Writers and American Literary Culture

by Julian Levinson
     
 

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How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture—in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman—led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing

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Overview

How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture—in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman—led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.

Indiana University Press

Editorial Reviews

Choice Reviews Online
"Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity." —S.L. Kremer, Choice Reviews Online, 2007

— S.L. Kremer

Jerusalem Post
"... a standout work in the field of American Jewish Literature... Levinson is well-attuned to the critical trends and thinking that are prevalent in the world of literary scholarship and applies them to the book's selected authors and texts in a way that is fresh and thoughtful..." —Shana Rosenblatt Mauer, Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2008

— Shana Rosenblatt Mauer

Jewish Book World

"... Exiles on Main Street is an original contribution to the continuing story of the creative encounter between Jewish writers and America." —Jewish Book World, Summer 2009

Mark Shechner

"An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish—American literary canon and redefines it.... An excellent, pioneering book." —Mark Shechner, author of After the Revolution

Choice Reviews Online - S.L. Kremer

"Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity." —S.L. Kremer, Choice Reviews Online, 2007

Jerusalem Post - Shana Rosenblatt Mauer

"... a standout work in the field of American Jewish Literature... Levinson is well-attuned to the critical trends and thinking that are prevalent in the world of literary scholarship and applies them to the book's selected authors and texts in a way that is fresh and thoughtful..." —Shana Rosenblatt Mauer, Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2008

From the Publisher
"An entirely original and absorbing piece of scholarship and historical reconstruction [that] engages the Jewish—American literary canon and redefines it.... An excellent, pioneering book." —Mark Shechner, author of After the Revolution

"Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American Literature and Jewish Cultural continuity." —S.L. Kremer, Choice Reviews Online, 2007

Choice
Levinson's well-researched book makes a significant contribution to studies of Jewish American literature and Jewish cultural continuity. . . . Highly recommended.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253350817
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Series:
Jewish Literature and Culture Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Julian Levinson is the Samuel Shetzer Professor of American Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Indiana University Press

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