- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
Who We Are: On Being (And Not Being) a Jewish American Writerby Derek Rubin
Synopses & Reviews
This unprecedented collection brings together the major Jewish American writers of the past fifty years as they examine issues of identity and how they’ve made their work respond.
E.L. Doctorow questions the very notion of the Jewish American writer, insisting that all great writing is secular and universal. Allegra Goodman embraces the categorization, arguing that it immediately binds her to her readers. Dara Horn, among the youngest of these writers, describes the tendency of Jewish writers to focus on anti-Semitism and advocates a more creative and positive way of telling the Jewish story. Thane Rosenbaum explains that as a child of Holocaust survivors, he was driven to write in an attempt to reimagine the tragic endings in Jewish history.
Here are the stories of how these writers became who they are: Saul Bellow on his adolescence in Chicago, Grace Paley on her early love of Romantic poetry, Chaim Potok on being transformed by the work of Evelyn Waugh. Here, too, are Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Erica Jong, Jonathon Rosen, Tova Mirvis, Pearl Abraham, Alan Lelchuk, Rebecca Goldstein, Nessa Rapoport, and many more.
Spanning three generations of Jewish writing in America, these essays — by turns nostalgic, comic, moving, and deeply provocative- constitute an invaluable investigation into the thinking and the work of some of America’s most important writers.
In a collection of personal essays spanning fifty years, twenty-nine Jewish American writers address the question of identity and its influence on their work, in an anthology that features contributions by E. L. Doctorow, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Chaim Potok, Erica Jong, Saul Bellow, Grace Paley, Dara Horn, and others. 15,000 first printing.
Derek Rubin teaches in the American Studies program at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has lectured widely in the United States, and as a Fulbright Scholar taught Jewish American literature at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Born in South Africa and raised in Israel, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1976.
Table of Contents
Introduction / Derek Rubin — Starting out in Chicago / Saul Bellow — Clearing my Jewish throat / Grace Paley — Tradition and (or versus) the Jewish writer / Cynthia Ozick — Culture confrontation in urban America: a writer's beginnings / Chaim Potok — Deism / E.L. Doctorow — Writing about Jews / Philip Roth — Coming home / Leslie Epstein — The end of the Jewish writer? / Alan Lelchuk — Max and Mottele / Max Apple — How I got to be Jewish / Erica Jong — Tales of my great -grandfathers / Johanna Kaplan — After the law / Steve Stern — Mein Kampf / Art Spiegelman — Against logic / Rebecca Goldstein — How I became a Jewish writer in America / Jonathan Wilson — Nothing makes you free / Melvin Jules Bukiet — Body of love / Nessa Rapoport — Writing something real / Lev Raphael — Living, loving, temple-going / Robert Cohen — Princess / Binnie Kirshenbaum — Divinity school or trusting the act of writing / Pearl Abraham — Law and legacy in the post-Holocaust imagination / Thane Rosenbaum — Forward and back: a journey between worlds / Jonathan Rosen — Writing with a return address / Allegra Goodman — The Davka method / Rachel Kadish — On becoming a Russian Jewish American / Lara Vapnyar — Writing between worlds / Tova Mirvis — On the interpretation of dreams / Dara Horn — When God's your favorite writer / Yael Goldstein.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Biography » General