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

Torchbearer

Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” is a greater symbol of freedom’s light than the Statue of Liberty

Children’s Books

Elie Wiesel’s Night and Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird established the child’s perspective as a useful lens for confronting the Holocaust

Trotsky the Jew

Joshua Rubenstein’s new biography obscures the Russian revolutionary’s violent extremism while overemphasizing his Jewishness

Huddled Masses

As the Statue of Liberty turns 125, talking to statue-bound tourists about Emma Lazarus, the poet whose sonnet is inscribed in its base

Faustian Bargain

The singular horror of the Holocaust is being lost in exchange for enshrining rare moments of inspiration and universal narratives of suffering

Yizkor, Book: On Yom Kippur, Offering a Blessing for the Life and Death of Books

On Yom Kippur, a day of remembrance, offering a blessing for the life and death of books

Left Behind

In his disappointing new memoir, Feeding on Dreams, Ariel Dorfman insists on the ponderous and universal over the nuances of his exile from Chile

Pilgrim’s Progress

Creating Jewishness in a post-religious age: Leon Uris’ Exodus and S.Y. Agnon’s Only Yesterday paint Israel’s history in broad and fine strokes

Paper Chase

Until the widow of Yiddish writer Chaim Grade died last year, his archive was kept locked away in their stuffed apartment. Now it’s up for grabs.

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