A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History

A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History

by Michael Hoberman


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Jewish writers have long had a sense of place in the United States, and interpretations of American geography have appeared in Jewish American literature from the colonial era forward. But troublingly, scholarship on Jewish American literary history often limits itself to an immigrant model, situating the Jewish American literary canon firmly and inescapably among the immigrant authors and early environments of the early twentieth century. In A Hundred Acres of America, Michael Hoberman combines literary history and geography to restore Jewish American writers to their roles as critical members of the American literary landscape from the 1850s to the present, and to argue that Jewish history, American literary history, and the inhabitation of American geography are, and always have been, contiguous entities.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813589695
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 12/06/2018
Edition description: None
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

MICHAEL HOBERMAN is a professor of English studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of several books, including New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America.

Table of Contents

Introduction.  “A Never Failing Source of Interest to Us”: Jewish American Literature and the Sense of Place—1-13
Chapter One.  “In this vestibule of God’s holy temple”: the frontier accounts of Solomon Carvalho and Israel Joseph Benjamin, 1857-1862—14-55
Chapter Two.  Colonial revival in the immigrant city: the invention of Jewish American urban history, 1870-1910—56-98
Chapter Three.  “A rare good fortune to anyone”: Joseph Leiser’s and Edna Ferber’s reminiscences of small-town Jewish life, 1909-1939—99-144
Chapter Four.  “The longed for pastoral”: images of exurban exile in Philip Roth’s American Pastoral (1997) and Allegra Goodman’s Kaaterskill Falls (1998)—145-186
Chapter Five.  Return to the shtetl: following the “topological turn” in Rebecca Goldstein’s Mazel (1995) and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated (2002)—187-227
Chapter Six.  Turning dreamscapes into landscapes on the “Wild West Bank” frontier: Jon
Papernick’s The Ascent of Eli Israel (2002) and Risa Miller’s Welcome to Heavenly Heights (2003)—228-266
Conclusion.  Mystical encounters and ordinary places—267-276

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