Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology

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The Most Comprehensive Anthology of Jewish American Literature Ever Published: With the work of 145 writers, from 1645 to the present, writing in all genres—fiction, poetry, drama, essays, letters, editorials, journals, autobiography, cartoons, song lyrics, and jokes.Classic and Contemporary Writers: Here, generously represented, are the writers who have shaped the tradition, among them Emma Lazarus, Abraham Cahan, Henry Roth, Nathanael West, Clifford Odets, Tillie Olsen, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Grace Paley, Philip Roth, Allen Ginsberg, Cynthia Ozick, and Harold Bloom. Joining them are younger writers such as Melvin Jules Bukiet, Jacqueline Osherow, Art Speigelman, Steve Stern and Allegra Goodman, who bring the tradition up to its thriving present.Yiddish and Hebrew Writing in America Jewish American Literature: Traces in breadth and depth America’s rich Yiddish-language culture, from the work of Morris Rosenfeld and David Edelshtadt in the 1880s through the Yunge and Introspectivist movements to the post-Holocaust writings of Kadya Molodowsky and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Also represented is Hebrew writing, in translations of the work of Ephraim E. Lisitzky and modernist Gabriel Preil.Special Sections: "Jewish Humor" offers choice selections of Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, and a cluster of perennial Jewish jokes; "The Golden Age of the Broadway Song" samples the unforgettable lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, and Stephen Sondheim, among others; "Jews Translating Jews" reflects on the translator’s role in transmitting tradition, gathering poems translated from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Spanish by Jewish American poets from Emma Lazarus to David Unger.Helpful and Lively Reader’s Apparatus: The Reader’s Apparatus includes a general introduction, period introductions, author headnotes, explanatory annotations, and selected bibliographies.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The most important and complete anthology of Jewish American literature to date, this volume confirms the importance of this literature in the fabric of American culture. Chametzky (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) collaborated with John Felstiner (Stanford Univ.), Hilene Flanzbaum (Butler Univ.), and Kathryn Hellerstein (Univ. of Pennsylvania) to encompass Jewish literature from 1654 to the present in this collection of poems, cartoons, sermons, diaries, letters, stories, speeches, plays, prayers, novel excerpts, and critical writings either translated from Hebrew or Yiddish or written in English. Major sections group the lite rature chronologically to help identify large movements, such as the "Literature of Arrival, 1654-1880" and the later "From Margin to Mainstream in Difficult Times, 1924-1945." Other sections focus on humor, Broadway songs, and translations. The Yiddish Yunge and Introspectivist circles, as well as the Objectivist poets, are strongly included, and women writers are well represented. The introductions, headnotes, and annotations describe the political and historic forces at work that affected Jewish life both religiously and culturally. All the major post-World War II writers (e.g., Tillie Olsen, Norman Mailer, Cynthia Ozick, and Saul Bellow) and many lesser-known writers (e.g., H. Leyvik, Paul Goodman, Mark Mirsky, and Miriam Israel Moses) are among the 145 authors represented. This great anthology is essential for Jewish studies and American literature collections.--Gene Shaw, NYPL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393048094
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 1248
  • Sales rank: 1,377,669
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Chametzky (Professor of English Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) is an editor and founder of The Massachusetts Review and author of From the Ghetto: The Fiction of Abraham Cahan and Our Decentralized Literature. Co-editor of Black and White in American Culture and, most recently, edited The Rise of David Levinsky by Abraham Cahan.

John Felstiner is the author of Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew. He teaches at Stanford University.

Hilene Flanzbaum (Associate Professor of English / Head of the Creative Writing Program, Butler University) is author of The Americanization of the Holocaust and numerous poems, articles, and essays.

Kathryn Hellerstein (Senior Fellow in Yiddish & Jewish Studies, University of Pennsylvania) is translator and editor of In New York: A Selection of Poems by Moyshe-Leyb Halpern and Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky. Her translations of Yiddish poets appear in American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology and her poems in Tikkun and Poetry, among other publications.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2003

    Not as good as it could have been

    This anthology gives much place to neglected, and one might dare say largely unknown minor writers,including a very large proportion of Yiddish writers. It is not generous enough to the mainstream,and does not give a number of important writers their due. Nontheless it is better to have this, than no such anthology at all. I would also say it does not it seems to me give strong enough emphasis to the connection with Israel.

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