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Jewish literature

The Black-Hat Underground The Black-Hat Underground
Monday, May 6, 2013 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The likely closure of Aderaba, the magazine by, for, and about frustrated Israeli ba’alei teshuvah, demonstrates that the mainstream haredi community is too great to overcome—for now.
The Last Books The Last Books
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 by Jonathan Brent | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The invisible structures created by the Jewish people of Eastern Europe over a thousand years were given shape and transmitted through the books and the documents collected by YIVO.  These structures still move us.  If we do not know what they are, we do not know ourselves.
The Politics of Yiddish The Politics of Yiddish
Monday, April 29, 2013 by Ruth Wisse | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Jews who hold on to, or reach back for, the Yiddishkeyt of Yiddish yearn not merely for a declining language but for the social and political ideal that seems embedded in it.  
Not-So-Young Adult Not-So-Young Adult
Thursday, April 25, 2013 by Diane Cole | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With remarkable sensitivity and clarity, Israeli novelist Nava Semel portrays children in Mandate Palestine working as hard as they can to make sense of a post-Holocaust, pre-state limbo.
Zionism Before Herzl Zionism Before Herzl
Monday, April 22, 2013 by Erika Dreifus | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1876, 21 years before Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress, a non-Jewish woman, writing for an English audience, published a novel with a powerful Zionist message.  She went by the name of George Eliot. 
Shani Boianjiu and the Past and Present of Jewish Literature Shani Boianjiu and the Past and Present of Jewish Literature
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Melissa Weininger | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israeli writer Shani Boianjiu's first novel, composed in English, is a rare contemporary addition to the Jewish tradition of transnational literature. 
The National Library The National Library
Thursday, March 14, 2013 by Rochelle Furstenberg | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

I counted on the National Library at the Hebrew University as my senior citizen’s refuge, my succor in my declining years, a protective womb that leads to a new learning.  But all this will soon change.
Speaking What Must Be Spoken Speaking What Must Be Spoken
Thursday, February 14, 2013 by Diane Cole | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The sheer number of books on the Holocaust has long demanded a guide to Holocaust literature that would be as accessible as it was comprehensive and scholarly.  Now we have one.
Leibowitz at 110 Leibowitz at 110
Monday, February 11, 2013 by Jeffrey Saks | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A scientist, a philosopher, and a sharp-tongued public intellectual, Yeshayahu Leibowitz was an oracle for some, a crank to others.  Two decades since his death, his ideas remain influential on Israeli society.
Life Goes On Life Goes On
Monday, February 4, 2013 by Jonathan Gondelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Life Goes On, by German-Jewish novelist Hans Keilson, had been forgotten since the Nazis banned it in 1934.  Now, a year after Keilson's death, it has been translated into English.
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Editors' Picks
The Two Sauls Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement. Like his biblical namesake, Saul Bellow became a monster in his dotage, according to his son's memoir.  But in his writing, at least, Old Saul remained generous.
Kafka on Trial Susanne Klingenstein, Weekly Standard. Two new books show how, and how not, to approach the work of Franz Kafka, now that there is little original left to say.
Ordinary Jews Michael Berkowitz, H-Net. A new translation of Yehoshue Perle's 1935 novel Yidn fun a gants yor offers "a vivid portrait of the shtetl before the Holocaust."
"Was I a Man or a Jerk?" David Wolpe, Los Angeles Review of Books. Greg Bellow's memoir of his father, author Saul Bellow, reveals "a sort of uneasy, seesaw truce between a famous, domineering, and rageful father, and a sensitive son."
Before Kafka Became Kafka-esque William Giraldi, New Republic. "Kafka's diaries are evidence that he was incapable of a quotidian thought; his letters are astonishing documents with an intellectual and stylistic register to rival Keats's."
A Sephardic Agnon Daniel Bouskila, Jewish Journal. "Where are the wordplays of the Sephardic kabbalists, the homiletics of the Aleppo scholars, the halakhic terminology of Moroccan rabbis?" wondered author Haim Sabato. "Who will sketch their profiles, in their language?"
The Retrospective A B. Yehoshua, Jewish Fiction .net. "Do you no longer believe in a world of transcendence . . . so much so that you are mired in the mundane and the obvious?  For example, in the film Potatoes . . . your main characters eat lunch for 16 minutes." (Fiction)
Zuckerman Abridged Max Ross, New Yorker. "The recent discovery of hundreds of notebooks and journals hidden throughout Zuckerman’s home in the Berkshires explains, at least in part, the seclusion and silence that marked his final 35 years." (Fiction)
Believing in the Novel J. L. Wall, First Things. Recently, author Paul Elie sounded the death knell for the "novel of belief."  But did he overlook contemporary Jewish fiction?
Der Hobit Ezra Glinter, Paris Review. "For every Yiddish reader piecing together a difficult 19th-century text, there’s a language enthusiast trying to translate Tolkien.  Often, they are the same person."