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Saul Bellow Is Having a Very Quiet Birthday

In defense, and praise, of the champion of personality, for whom Jewishness was simply a fact of life, not an ‘identity’

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The Incurable World of Vivian Gornick

‘The Odd Woman and the City’ proves the memoirist is a peer of Kazin, Howe, and other great chroniclers of Jewish America

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The Last Critic

The great M.H. Abrams, peer of Trilling, teacher of Bloom, and editor of the Norton Anthology, dead at 102

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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

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Returning to Myron

Lost Books

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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.

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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.

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Homecoming

Yuri Suhl’s One Foot in America, a long-lost novel of Jewish American immigration that reads like a more Dickensian take on Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, has been republished and deserves a new audience

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Rough Draft

Alfred Kazin’s journals were more than just repositories for literary reflections; they were the laboratories in which he fashioned the writer—and Jew—he aspired to be

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Her Own Light

A new biography tries to untangle painter Lee Krasner from the husband whose outsize personality and paint-splattered canvasses left her in the shadows

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On the Bookshelf

Jotted down: letters, diaries, recipes, and other random scribblings

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Pen Pals

David Grossman, Amos Oz, and A.B. Yehoshua have won international acclaim for being the intellectual leaders of Israel’s peace camp. It’s undeserved.

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Imaginative Assault

An excerpt from a new history of Commentary shows how the fiction published in the magazine’s early years shook not just the world of Jewish literature but the very foundations of American letters

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A Nation of Commentators

We are all Rashi’s heirs, but what, exactly, is our inheritance?

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Working Hard

Jewish writers and writing of the (last) Depression

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Asch’s Passion

A popular Yiddish novelist strove for immortality by taking on Jesus, but it cost him his core audience and made him a marked man

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