Browsing Tag


the yid

The Yiddish Theater Star Who Disappeared Into an Anti-Stalinist Superhero

By On May 18, 2016

Paul Goldberg’s provocatively-titled novel The Yid (Picador) starts out with a middle-of-the-night visit from the Stalinist-era Soviet police to the Moscow home of Solomon Levinson, an elderly has-been actor of the Yiddish… Read More


The NYC Savant Changing Jewish Literature

By On August 28, 2015

Joshua Cohen has all the trappings of an arch-nemesis: he’s handsome, precocious, hyper-functional, prolific. He speaks three languages. Besides his latest novel, Book of Numbers, he’s written three others, plus four collections… Read More

A Jewish Mystery of Dominican Proportions

A Jewish Mystery of Dominican Proportions

By On July 3, 2015

Like many juicy mysteries, Forgiving Máximo Rothman, AJ Sidransky’s debut novel, begins with a murder. In this case, the victim is Max Redmond, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor found dead in his Washington… Read More

Hitler in the Amazon

Hitler in the Amazon

By On December 26, 2014

Hitler is alive and well, if not a bit wrinkled, and he’s living in the Amazon jungle thirty years after the end of the Holocaust. Who better than a group of Jewish… Read More

Why "Back to the Future" is About the World to Come

The Surprising Hasidic Subtext of a Popular New Novel

By On October 7, 2014

Ben Lerner is not primarily a novelist – he’s a poet. He’s also not a Hasid. But his new novel 10:04 opens with a quote: “Hasidim tell a story about the world to come that says everything there… Read More

The Infamous 1970s Sex Novel Featuring Lilith’s Kin

The Infamous 1970s Sex Novel Featuring Lilith’s Kin

By On September 4, 2014

What modern lovers refer to as “casual sex” was, at one time, known by a very different, very transgressive name. In 1973, Jewish American writer Erica Jong infamously published Fear of Flying, a radical novel… Read More

A Yiddish Satire With Yiddishe Mamas and Soviet Fools

A Forgotten Satire of Yiddishe Mamas and Soviet Fools

By On June 23, 2014

Stories of a bustling courtyard populated by hapless sages and wise young fools fill Moyshe Kulbak‘s classic satirical family novel of Soviet Minsk. It’s a compelling, tender read, newly translated by Hillel Halkin with a… Read More


Jew and WASP, in 20th-Century Manhattan

By On April 23, 2014

Joanna Hershon’s fervently readable new novel, A Dual Inheritance, follows friends of different ethnicities and classes as they swerve through the awkwardness of adolescence into the complexity of middle age. Like Rich Boy, The Interestings,… Read More


What Ever Happened to Italy’s Jews?

By On March 10, 2014

We usually think of historical fiction as storytelling that attempts to simulate the events and atmosphere of the past—but what if historical fiction recreated not the past itself, but the historian’s process… Read More


When Sholem Aleichem Met Mark Twain

By On January 10, 2014

The Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) was an author and humorist whose 40-plus volumes famously combine high intellect with a raucousness and a Jewish redneck sensibility. His style was uncannily reminiscent of another writer of his… Read More


Anna Karenina, Alive and Not That Well in Queens

By On October 17, 2013

Thought hundreds of pages about the Russian aristocracy described a world utterly foreign from our own? Irina Reyn’s English-language take on Anna Karenina may be refreshingly slimmer than Tolstoy’s opus but the world it describes is… Read More


J.D. Salinger’s Jewish Roots

By On October 1, 2013

Although J.D. Salinger’s most widely-known character is The Catcher in the Rye‘s Holden Caulfield, his most enduring characters may prove to be Seymour Glass, the protagonist of two of his other books, and… Read More

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