Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century

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Now available in paperback for the first time, Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century is both a comprehensive reference resource and a springboard for further study.

This volume:

  • examines canonical Jewish writers, less well-known authors of Yiddish and Hebrew, and emerging Israeli writers
  • includes entries on figures as diverse as Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Tristan Tzara, Eugene Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, Nadine Gordimer, and Woody Allen
  • contains introductory essays on Jewish-American writing, Holocaust literature and memoirs, Yiddish writing, and Anglo-Jewish literature
  • provides a chronology of twentieth-century Jewish writers.

Compiled by expert contributors, this book contains over 330 entries on individual authors, each consisting of a biography, a list of selected publications, a scholarly essay on their work and suggestions for further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This scholarly reference to Jewish literary writers of the past century highlights novelists, poets, and dramatists while excluding philosophers, religious thinkers, and historians. In this case, "Jewish" means not only those born Jewish but also those with only one Jewish parent, those who converted to other religions, and those who identified themselves as Jews. The book opens with introductory surveys on American, British, Hebrew, Holocaust, and Yiddish literature of the 20th century, written by a variety of Israeli scholars, many of whom are contributing to a reference work for the first time. These essays offer useful overviews and help frame the literature. Following is an A-Z listing of writers, which makes up the bulk of the work. Ranging from Walter Abish to Fay Zwicky and including writers working in a variety of languages, including Hebrew, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Russian, these entries contain a paragraph-long biography, bibliographic lists, and concise and insightful discussions that place each author's work in social, cultural, and artistic context. The critical discussions analyze literary techniques, stress the Jewish content of an author's work, and ponder the great questions of Jewish life in the 20th century, including socialism, Zionism, feminism, the Holocaust, and personal conduct. A title index, alphabetical and chronological lists of authors, and a list of contributors round out the text. Although some authors have been neglected (e.g., Paul Rosenfeld, Denise Levertov, and Mark Halpern), and some entries contain errors or misstatements (e.g., Carl Soloman was not a murderer, Naomi Ginsberg was not a victim of Stalin's purges, and Yorium Kaniuk's war injuries are sometimes described as physical and sometimes as emotional), this reference is still a good addition to Jewish studies and literature collections in academic libraries.-Gene Shaw, NYPL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579583132
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/14/2003
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sorrel Kerbel is an independent scholar who has taught English Literature at the University of Port Elizabeth and taught a "creative reading" circle in London that studied the work of Jewish writers.

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Table of Contents

Entries include: Allen, Woody, American-Jewish Literature, Auster, Paul ,Babel, Isaac, Bellow, Saul, Brodsky, Joseph, Castel-Bloom, Orly, Cixous, Hélène, Cohen, Leonard, Doctorow, Edgar L, Durlacher, Gerard, Dworkin, Andrea, Ehrenburg, Ilya Grigorevich, Elkin, Stanley, Ezekiel, Nissim, Fainlight, Ruth, Feiffer, Jules, Fierstein, Harvey, Gershon, Karen, Ginsberg, Allen, Gordimer, Nadine, Hebrew Literature, Heller, Joseph, Holocaust, Writing, Ignatow, David, Ionesco, Eugène, Jacob, Max, Jong, Erica, Josipovici, Gabriel, Kafka, Franz, Kertész, Imre, Konrád, György, Langer, Jiri, Levi, Primo, Lustig, Arnoöt, Mailer, Norman, Mamet, David, Miller, Arthur, Nadas, Peter, Nathanson, Henri, Nemerov, Howard, Odets, Clifford, Ortiz, Alicia, Dujovne, Oz, Amos, Paley, Grace, Pasternak, Boris, Potok, Chaim, Proust, Marcel, Raab, Esther, Roth, Philip, Rukeyser, Muriel, Sendak, Maurice, Simon, Neil, Stein, Gertrude, Tchernikowsky, Shaul, Trilling, Lionel, Tuwim, Julian, Uris, Leon, Viertel, Berthold, Vigee, Claude, Vogel, David, West, Nathanael, Wiesel, Elie, Wouk, Herman, Yehoshua, A.B., Yezierska, Anzia, Yiddish Writing in the 20th Century, Zach, Nathan, Zukofsky, Louis, Zwicky, Fay

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2004

    A valuable source

    This is a valuable source of information about a wide variety of Jewish writers. However it does not distinguish between the truly great and important writers, and the rest of the field in a convincing and meaningful way. One Kafka is worth more in literary terms than a thousand minor writers .

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