The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature

The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature

by Alvin H. Rosenfeld
     
 

The Writer Uprooted is the first book to examine the emergence of a new generation of Jewish immigrant authors in America, most of whom grew up in formerly communist countries. In essays that are both personal and scholarly, the contributors to this collection chronicle and clarify issues of personal and cultural dislocation and loss, but also affirm the

Overview

The Writer Uprooted is the first book to examine the emergence of a new generation of Jewish immigrant authors in America, most of whom grew up in formerly communist countries. In essays that are both personal and scholarly, the contributors to this collection chronicle and clarify issues of personal and cultural dislocation and loss, but also affirm the possibilities of reorientation and renewal. Writers, poets, translators, and critics such as Matei Calinescu, Morris Dickstein, Henryk Grynberg, Geoffrey Hartman, Eva Hoffman, Katarzyna Jerzak, Dov-Ber Kerler, Norman Manea, Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, Lara Vapnyar, and Bronislava Volkova describe how they have coped creatively with the trials of displacement and the challenges and opportunities of resettlement in a new land and, for some, authorship in a new language.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

"[T]his is a worthwhile read.... Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, general readers." —Choice, March 2009

Jewish Book World

"This engrossing volume brings evocative personal accounts of displacement—physical, emotional, and particularly linguistic—by contemporary writers like Norman Manea, Lara Vapnyar, and Geoffrey Hartman." —Jewish Book World, Spring 2009

East European Book Review
"What binds the writers in this book together, despite their varied approaches to exile and emigration, is that they all moved from one place and ideological system - the Soviet Union and Communist eastern Europe - to another, the United States, where they each have found quite successful personal and professional homes as writer, thinkers and tenured professors. This is no small feat for a fiction writer... Perhaps this is one of the volume's unwitting arguments: late twentieth/early twenty-first-century America is now or has once again become the cosmopolitan reservoir of so much Jewish literary creativity." —David Shneer, University of Colorado, East European Book Review, Vol. 39.2 August 2009

— David Shneer, University of Colorado

Shofar
"[T]his is an immensely valuable collection of truly stimulating essays." —SHOFAR, Vol. 28, no. 1, 2009
From the Publisher
"The essays in this richly revealing and valuable collection are reports from a late stage and distinct kind of exile, one marked by stark dramas and quiet ambiguities. As these personal and subtle statements show, each emigrant story, and trajectory, is unique and filled with its particular details of difficulty and success, private sorrow and unexpected satisfactions." —from the afterword by Eva Hoffman

H. I. Needler

This volume collects essays by eastern European Jewish writers all now living and working in the US: Norman Manea and Matei Calinescu from Romania, Henryk Grynberg and Katarzyna Jerzak from Poland, Lara Vapnyar and Dov-Ber Kerler from Russia, Zsuzsanna Ozsvath from Hungary, and Bronislava Volkova from Czechoslovakia. Rosenfeld (Indiana Univ., Bloomington) also includes a memoir by German-born literary critic Geoffrey Hartman about his long search for his Jewish origins, and an essay on immigrant writers by critic Morris Dickstein. A brief introduction by Rosenfeld and an afterword by Eva Hoffman, the author of Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language (1989), complete the volume. The important issues of exile, from place and from language, are discussed from various viewpoints, though always more autobiographically than analytically. The organization of the book is curious: the opening piece, by Manea, is followed by Calinescu's discussion of Manea's memoir The Hooligan's Return (2003); Grynberg's autobiographical piece is followed by Jerzak's essay on both his and Manea's writing. Neither Hartman's account nor Dickstein's quite fits with the rest of the material--but doubtless this arises because the book comprises the proceedings of a conference. Despite these oddities, this is a worthwhile read. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, general readers. --ChoiceH. I. Needler, Wesleyan University, March 2009

East European Book Review - David Shneer

"What binds the writers in this book together, despite their varied approaches to exile and emigration, is that they all moved from one place and ideological system - the Soviet Union and Communist eastern Europe - to another, the United States, where they each have found quite successful personal and professional homes as writer, thinkers and tenured professors. This is no small feat for a fiction writer... Perhaps this is one of the volume's unwitting arguments: late twentieth/early twenty-first-century America is now or has once again become the cosmopolitan reservoir of so much Jewish literary creativity." —David Shneer, University of Colorado, East European Book Review, Vol. 39.2 August 2009

SHOFAR

"[T]his is an immensely valuable collection of truly stimulating essays." —SHOFAR, Vol. 28, no. 1, 2009

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253000361
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
06/18/2008
Series:
Jewish Literature and Culture
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
522 KB

Meet the Author

Alvin H. Rosenfeld is Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and founder and former director of the Indiana University Borns Jewish Studies Program. He is author of Imagining Hitler (IUP, 1985) and A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature (IUP, 1980). He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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