Uncertain Jew

An Egyptian exile considers Jewish identity—and his own—in a cosmopolitan world. Excerpted from the new essay collection Alibis.

Elsewhere

In the new Alibis, a revealing collection of essays, André Aciman finds in his exiled Egyptian life a quintessential diasporic Jewish identity

Counterlife

Reading books like Franny and Zooey as a child in California made Jews seem an exotic minority. In New York, they seem like any old hegemony.

Around Reading

After two years and 100 weekly “On the Bookshelf” columns about new books, assessing the impressive breadth of Jewish letters today

Fear Factor

Erica Jong’s classic novel about passion, sex, and the true self has something to teach contemporary writers who have lost their humanity

City Girl

For the 50th anniversary edition of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities, her publisher remembers the urban activist

Divine Right

The Sept. 11 attacks altered many people’s convictions. For ultra-Orthodox Jews, they reinforced a strongly held belief in divine authority.

The Non-Belonger

Alfred Kazin brought out the Jew in Emerson, the mystic in sex, and the terrible beauty in community. There’s no better guide for the “social me” age.

No Escape

The American Jewish response to Sept. 11 interprets—but doesn’t explain—the anti-Semitism, trauma, and mourning that still linger after the attacks

Yiddishkeit

The last fully realized work by Harvey Pekar illuminates the bluntness and delight of American Yiddish in the last century. A new excerpt.

Darling Wendy

A breathless biography of Wendy Wasserstein hints at the tensions in the playwright’s life but, like its subject, fails to confront them

Caracas Retreat

Junketing to South America in the late 1960s with Robert Lowell, a wealthy Venezuelan, and Alfred Kazin. An excerpt from the forthcoming memoir Lucky Bruce.

In the Picture

Bruce Jay Friedman’s darkly comic novels, short stories, and screenplays place him among the past century’s best American writers. In his new memoir, Lucky Bruce, he reminisces about many of them.

Parlor Games

In his novel The Vices, Lawrence Douglas spins a Nabokovian web of intrigue and self-deception that hints at the way Jewish identity is constructed and performed

War Poet

In new translations of his poems about soldiers, disappearance, and life cycles, Israeli poet Yitzhak Laor uses biblical allusions, humor, and rage to explore the absurdities of modern Israeli life

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