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Solondz’s Schlubs

The funny, sad Dark Horse adds a creepy loser in love to the director’s catalog of misanthropes

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Obama’s Historical Chutzpah

Does the president really know more about Judaism than John Adams and James Madison did?

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Portnoy’s Complaint, in Analysis

Hebrew University professor Bernard Avishai’s playful new critical look at Philip Roth’s 1969 classic digs deep into the novel’s neurotic passion

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Installation Uses Roth Novel, to Roth’s Chagrin

New artwork, ‘Every Inch A Man,’ features ‘The Great American Novel’

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Flower Children

Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet is a document of the cravings of 1960s America, and an attempt to bring the Holocaust to bear on America

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Memory Palaces

Three of the five memoirs up for a National Book Critics Circle award are by Jewish women, who somehow leave out the juiciest introspection

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Modern Times

Herman Wouk wrote a foundational text for American postwar Modern Orthodoxy, and for the emancipated Jewish literature in its wake

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Sentimental Journey

In the new collected stories of Nathan Englander, and in his revised Haggadah, Jews cling tenuously to the easily broken chains of tradition

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War Horse

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

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The Facts on Philip Roth

Introducing The Rebutter

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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.

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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

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Liel’s Complaint

Today on Tablet

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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

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Tropical Storm

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

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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

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Jews Again Long Shots for Lit Nobel

Syrian poet Adonis favored; Roth at 25:1

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‘Commentary’ Archive Heads to Texas

Ransom Center in Austin is a hotbed of Jewish literary papers

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How the Other Half Lives

Today on Tablet

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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.

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Sundown: Circle the Date

Plus Perry goes kosher, the fatal mustache, and more

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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

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Grossman Makes Obama’s Summer Reading List

A few more suggestions

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Big Men

Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn are all a certain type: the Jewish Big, narcissistic, entitled, and unapologetic. And society loves to see a Jewish Big fall.

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Canadian Jew Pick Scores Man Booker Longlist

‘Far to Go’ tells of Czech Jews in the 1930s

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Ordinary People

Two new books, The Druggist of Auschwitz and Reluctant Accomplice, offer true stories of average citizens’ divergent responses to Nazi rule. They help us examine our own rationalization of genocide.

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We All Look Alike to You?

Comment of the week

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Busch League

Lost Books

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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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Lost Books

An archive of the best books lost in the stacks