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

War Horse

Joseph Heller, who embodied masculinity in American postwar literature, for better and for worse, chronicled a major shift in American Jewish identity

Roth Redux

Philip Roth’s defenders point to his later, more serious works to argue for his place in the canon. In truth, those books make clearer his weaknesses.

The Prague Cemetery

In a new novel, 19th-century Europe is a land of ominous mystery, and a Parisian junk shop is the passage to a lost world. An excerpt.

Protocols

A conversation with Umberto Eco, whose new novel imagines one of the most anti-Semitic characters in fiction

Martyrologies

Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish created a poetry of martyrdom for his people—and a political coup for the idea of the nakba

Child of His Time

Holocaust survivor Aharon Appelfeld, Israel’s greatest living writer and author of the new Until the Dawn’s Light, retains his capacity for wonder

The Grapes of Roth

Philip Roth’s legacy of writerly narcissism left a generation of young novelists with the wrong idea of what makes great literature

Tropical Storm

Henry Miller had complicated feelings about Jews, but his works wouldn’t have reached American audiences without them

California Dream

A nice Jewish boy with an Ivy League degree tells his parents that he has moved to L.A. to make porn. An excerpt from the memoir American Gangbang.

The Art of Making Art

With Stephen Sondheim’s second collection of his lyrics, the hyper-articulate, neurotic, modernist master Broadway songwriter takes a curtain call

Last Acts: The Swan Songs of Harold Bloom and Philip Roth

In the final phase of his literary life, Harold Bloom, like Philip Roth, refuses to relinquish his vitality

Camus the Jew

Albert Camus, who died an atheist at 46, had surprisingly deep ties to Judaism in his life, his political activity, and his philosophical thought

Star Men

British writer Olaf Stapledon, author of the lost 1937 sci-fi masterpiece Star Maker, was perhaps Baruch Spinoza’s greatest 20th-century disciple

Odessa Story: Reading Isaac Babel in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Black Sea port has lost most of its Jews, but not the vestiges of the muddled, criminal city Isaac Babel imagined

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