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Jewish American Literature: A Norton…

Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology

by J. Chametsky

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393048098, Hardcover)

Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology is a comprehensive collection of Jewish American writings, from colonial times to the present. The book is organized chronologically, with thematic sections on Jewish humor, the Broadway song, and the art of translation. Editors Jules Chametzky, John Felstiner, Hilene Flanzbaum, and Kathryn Hellerstein provide enlightening introductions for each section, helping readers to discern the lines of development through the various contributions, whose genres range from autobiography to sermons to songs and jokes, by writers as diverse as Irving Berlin, Emma Lazarus, Allegra Goodman, and Woody Allen. Among the many fascinating strains to follow in this collection is the changing yet abiding role of Scripture as a source of inspiration for American Jewish writers. "It may be that in the past, Jewish civilizations survived by cleaving to the righteousness and difference inscribed in sacred texts," notes the book's general introduction. "Some would hold that this spiritual tenacity is still necessary and sufficient. Possibly so. But with it come wit and self-deprecation, moral dilemma, verbal ingenuity, aspiration, tragedy, and joy, families aplenty, nostalgia, satire--a full slice of human life at its most vocal." --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

Selections cover three centuries of Jewish contributing voices to American letters, including those of Arthur Miller, Tillie Olsen, Bernard Malamud, Allen Ginsberg, Cynthia Ozick, and Philip Roth.

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