Beyond Amichai

No longer the province of an artistic elite, poetry in Israel today is being produced by hundreds of poets of all stripes

Perpetual Movement

Clancy Sigal’s 1961 novel, Going Away, is a primer for the Occupy generation about the futility of despair and the inevitability of change

Hope Less

In Shalom Auslander’s new novel, the protagonist tries to wean himself of optimism while doing battle with the freeloader in his attic: Anne Frank

Native Son

A Tunisia-born Jew and French officer who fought the Berbers in Algeria pioneered the counterinsurgency warfare still used in Iraq and Afghanistan

Earthly Gardens

In The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Giorgio Bassani’s 1962 novel, an aristocratic Jewish family in Italy tries to wall itself off from the Holocaust

The Avengers

Michael Kohlhaas, a 19th-century novella by Heinrich von Kleist, reminds the Israeli and U.S. right that lust for vengeance is a terrible idea

Choice

Chaim Potok’s 1967 novel The Chosen, about Jewish teenagers in Brooklyn, is no less inscrutable for adults than it has been for generations of young readers

Covered

Five Books, holiday edition: Nine hardbacks—including Philip Schultz’s memoir, a history of the orgasm, and Alfred Kazin’s journals—for the readers on your list

The Tenth Man

The key to Christopher Hitchens wasn’t his iconoclasm; it was his desire for belonging—and the proof can be found in an unexpected place

Dissolution

My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit

Whole in One

Two recent books consider whether Jewishness is a religion, a culture, a race, or some combination of the three. The answer may be none of the above.

Field Notes

Five Books: A biography of sportscaster Howard Cosell, the life of film critic Pauline Kael, the poets who translated Shakespeare into Hebrew, and more

Fatherland

The Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich is, like much of his fiction, filled with Nazis, the ultimate evil

Revealed

A new English-language translation of the short stories of Soviet writer Der Nister, or The Hidden One, brings his enigmatic Yiddish work to light

No Exit

Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman’s indispensable account of the horrors of Stalinism and the Holocaust, puts Jewishness at the heart of the 20th century

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