Jewish Comedy Turns Sane

Once an institutionalized mental patient, the comic Moshe Kasher unleashes his psychological self-abuse in the new memoir Kasher in the Rye

Keeper of the Flame

Experimental-fiction king Ben Marcus, the son of a Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mother, may be the best Jewish writer in America

Bookends

How serious is our society’s literacy problem? Unless we commit to being serious readers of a shared canon, we might as well stop reading altogether.

Flower Children

Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet is a document of the cravings of 1960s America, and an attempt to bring the Holocaust to bear on America

Memory Palaces

Three of the five memoirs up for a National Book Critics Circle award are by Jewish women, who somehow leave out the juiciest introspection

La Différence

While American Jews cultivate a hyphenated identity, French Jews like to make themselves wholly French. Do we still share a cultural language?

War Papers

A trove of medieval scrolls, smuggled out of Afghanistan into the hands of London art dealers, could shed new light on a once-vibrant Jewish heritage

Bloodlines

Ellen Ullman’s new novel pushes a psychoanalyst, a patient, and a mysterious eavesdropper back to their traumatic roots—in the Holocaust

Gilded

The literary journal Di Goldene Keyt nurtured Yiddish writers in Israel and the Diaspora—and made an author in Baltimore dream

Likeness of a Jew

A dispute between novelist Alan Hollinghurst and author Daniel Mendelsohn revives a history of sensitivity to British stereotypes about Jews

Modern Times

Herman Wouk wrote a foundational text for American postwar Modern Orthodoxy, and for the emancipated Jewish literature in its wake

Herself Included

Judy Blume’s 35-year-old classic Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself avoids the main problem of Holocaust fiction: sanctification

Fantasyland

Michael Chabon may finally score a hit as a screenwriter for Disney’s new sci-fi flick John Carter. But will success in Hollywood ruin his fiction?

Fool’s Gold

Middle East expert Robert Kagan argues in a new book that American foreign policy has spawned a golden age of liberal democracy. He’s wrong.

Sentimental Journey

In the new collected stories of Nathan Englander, and in his revised Haggadah, Jews cling tenuously to the easily broken chains of tradition

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