Handbook of American-Jewish Literature: An Analytical Guide to Topics, Themes, and Sources

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Overview

The title is perhaps a bit deceptive, for this is assuredly more than 'handbook' might indicate. . . . Fried's anthology is a truly complex work, bringing together eighteen essays of mostly uniform high quality, and masses of bibliographic resources to present a comprehensive overview. . . . Fried's book does not present the original works themselves, but rather culls mostly outstanding essays on the prose, poetry, drama, and literary criticism produced by Jewish writers in America from the final decades of the last century to the present. Studies in American Jewish Literature

Focusing on the Jewish contribution to American writing, this guide offers a comprehensive view of Jewish identity and experience in American society, together with important bibliographic information for the scholar or researcher. In eighteen essays written by a distinguished group of specialists, it provides a wealth of fact, interpretation, and commentary relating to American-Jewish literature, criticism, and other writing published since the 1880s.

In his introduction, Fried reviews the history of American-Jewish writing and the major social, moral, and political concerns that have affected it. The essays that follow focus primarily on the literary culture created by Eastern-European Jewish immigrants and their children, as they shaped and were shaped by their experiences in America. The first several chapters look at American-Jewish fiction from 1880 to the present. Drama and autobiographical works also are discussed as are American-Yiddish poetry, criticism, and other writing. Other chapters assess the influence of theology, Zionism, and the Holocaust on American-Jewish writers, as well as the relationship of their works to other literatures and international critical perspectives. Themes that are explored from several perspectives include the relevance of the diaspora to the American-Jewish literary imagination; the forging of multiple loyalties and reconciliation into an American-Jewish culture; and the making of an American-Jewish identity.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While more a collection of critical essays than a handbook, per se, this mammoth work indeed achieves its stated purpose: ``to discuss this literary culture so that its achievements are readily made known to reader and scholar.'' Critical approaches of the 18 scholarly essays range from historical (1880-1930, 1930-1945, 1945 to the present) to generic, thematic (e.g., Yiddish dreams in America, American-Jewish theology, Zionist ideology in America, Eastern Europe in American-Jewish writing, women poets in Yiddish, fiction of the Holocaust), and comparative (e.g., German-Jewish versus American-Jewish writing). Each essay has its own bibliography of texts cited and sometimes recommends further reading. For academic collections. Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313245930
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/26/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 551

Meet the Author

LEWIS FRIED is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Kent State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction by Lewis Fried

In the Beginning: American-Jewish Fiction, t880-1930 by David Martin Fine

American-Jewish Fiction, 1930-1945 by Lewis Fried

American-Jewish Fiction Since 1945 by Bonnie K. Lyons

The Greening of American-Jewish Drama by Ellen Schiff

American-Jewish Poetry: An Overview by R. Barbara Gitenstein

Yiddish Dreams in America by Joseph C. Landis

American Yiddish Literary Criticism by Hannah Berliner Fischthal

A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish by Kathryn Hellerstein

Makers of a Modern American-Jewish Theology by Arnold Jacob Wolf

Zionist Ideology in America by David Polish

American-Jewish Autobiography, 1912 to the Present by Steven J. Rubin

Images of America in American-Jewish Fiction by Sanford E. Marovitz

Eastern Europe in American-Jewish Writing by Asher Z. Milbauer

Shadows of Identity: German-Jewish and American-Jewish Literature--A Comparative Study by Gershon Shaked (Translated by Jeffrey Green)

Fiction of the Holocaust by Dorothy Seidman Bilik

The Holocaust and Its Historiography: The Major Texts by Saul Friedman

American-Jewish Fiction: The Germanic Reception by Sepp L. Tiefenthaler

Guide to European Bibliography by Sepp L. Tiefenthaler

Selected Reference Materials and Resources

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