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Another Tale of Love and Darkness

In Jessamyn Hope’s evocative debut novel, ‘Safekeeping,’ people are as beautiful and as vexed as the history with which they struggle

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The Meursault Investigation

Francophone Algerian writer Kemal Daoud writes back to ‘The Stranger’—and breathes life into its nameless victim

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Must Hebrew Literature Live Only in Israel?

Why Israel’s most prestigious book award just shut out Hebrew writers who live outside the Jewish State

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Borges in Jerusalem

Memories of the Argentine literary mystic’s visit to the Holy Land, and of his nuanced Zionism

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Saul Bellow Is Having a Very Quiet Birthday

In defense, and praise, of the champion of personality, for whom Jewishness was simply a fact of life, not an ‘identity’

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The Day I Discovered My Daughter Was No Dove

What did last year’s Gaza War do to Israelis?

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Joshua Cohen Is the Great American Novelist

The Jewish Foster Wallace crosses auto-fiction with hysterical realism, in the energetic and intelligent ‘Book of Numbers’

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The Daemon in Mr. Bloom

The great critic’s sparkling new tour of American literature illuminates the sublime life of books

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Blum’s Day

Sociologist Pierre Birnbaum says it’s time Léon Blum—French Socialist, Zionist, wartime hero, and prime minister—got his due

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Cruelty & Perversity: Postprandial Reflections on the PEN Protesters

The grim satire of the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ controversy, in context

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Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist, Tireless Champion, Proud Jew

An excerpt from Pierre Birnbaum’s new biography of the French titan

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Facing Death

‘I don’t believe in you, “salvation,” I never have and I never will. And very soon I won’t even be.’

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The Incurable World of Vivian Gornick

‘The Odd Woman and the City’ proves the memoirist is a peer of Kazin, Howe, and other great chroniclers of Jewish America

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The Marathon Bombers Were Clear About Their Motives. Why Is Masha Gessen Confused?

In ‘The Brothers,’ her new book about the Boston attacks, the Russian émigré writer empathizes with fellow displaced people

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A Bittersweet Love Song to Jewish Alexandria

Lost Egypt comes alive in Yitzhak Gormezano Goren’s 1978 Hebrew idyll ‘Alexandrian Summer,’ in a first English translation

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The Age of Bad Holocaust Novels

A cautionary tale: ‘The Death’s Head Chess Club’ and other period fantasies are the inevitable next thing in Shoah fiction

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In Paris, PEN Boycott Makes Americans Look Like Crude Provincials

Why the political and cultural battles being fought here have nothing to do with what happened over there

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Watching

A poem for Baltimore

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A Poem Is a Two-Way Mirror Concealing the Page

A visit with Beat icon David Meltzer, still performing and confounding, still showing the way

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In the PEN Controversy, Lessons on Art, Politics, and Really Bad Ideas

Or, why all great writers are conservative

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Jews, Muslims, Liberals, PEN Boycotters, Beware: Voltaire Is Laughing at You

Is the enlightenment philosopher having a moment?

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Even Einstein Was Not Immune to Academic Jockeying

An excerpt from Steven Gimbel’s new biography of the great scientist follows his quest for a permanent position, through Zurich after 1909

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A Tale of Two Assassins

When a young Yiddish poet killed a Ukrainian leader who allowed pogroms, he helped forge a lasting link between Jews and Armenians

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Why Anthony Trollope Is the Most Jewish of the Great English Novelists

Happy 200th birthday, you ‘hair-oil using, false-jewel wearing, tailorish non-gentlefolk.’ You’re one of us.

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My Parents’ Israel, My Apartheid

A South African goes home to Israel

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‘Tattoos on Jews,’ and Other Poems by Richard Michelson

For National Poetry Month, new verse from ‘More Money than God’

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The Murder of the Century

A reissue of Meyer Levin’s 1956 novel about the notorious Leopold and Loeb case captures the enduring power of Jewish self-hatred

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Why We Keep Reading About the Shoah

A thorough new history of the Nazi concentration camps challenges us to face again our fears and weakness

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My Teacher’s Son: A Memoir of Heresy Is Marked By a Father’s Unnerving Piety

In and out of the fold of ultra-Orthodoxy, Shulem Deen and his father Dovid both pursued honest religious feeling

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Abraham Lincoln’s Other Minority

Historian Jonathan Sarna discusses the Great Emancipator’s ties to a chiropodist, military men, and other Jews

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