In defense, and praise, of the champion of personality, for whom Jewishness was simply a fact of life, not an ‘identity’
A new collection of the writer’s aggrieved nonfiction sends readers running back to his masterful fiction
‘The Age of the Crisis of Man’ traces the fall and rise of individualist pragmatism in America
‘This is a report on a library trip to Israel from a bookish girl who is now a bookish old lady’
The turbulent private—and public—affairs of a titanic figure in American Jewish intellectual life
They lie. They cheat. The treat their kids terribly. This Father’s Day, be thankful your own dad is such a mensch.
‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour’ wrestles with faith, community, baseball, and what it means to refuse to fill your cavities
Talking to the musician about jazz, Lenny Bruce, and being an outsider
Saul Bellow was a complicated father to his three sons. In a new book, the eldest tries to parse his inheritance.
Artists, particularly in theater, are still plagued by the slur “Gay Commie Jew.” But how did it come about?
Starting a conversation about Jewish fiction
Plus Knesset dissolves (itself)
Three decades after Saul Bellow fictionalized my love affair with the great art critic, it’s time for my version
In his Bech books, the great novelist of American WASPdom parsed the allure and otherness of Jewish writers
Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind remains as important as ever, and as misunderstood, 25 years after the 1980s culture wars
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
Herman Wouk wrote a foundational text for American postwar Modern Orthodoxy, and for the emancipated Jewish literature in its wake
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.
South African judge, of notorious Goldstone Report, rejects ‘apartheid’ charge
Plus some reading for when you’re not eating
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
Ransom Center in Austin is a hotbed of Jewish literary papers
The writer Delmore Schwartz is largely forgotten today, but he once captured the anxieties and hopes of the Jewish intellectuals of the 1930s and stunned his generation with his poems and short stories
Delmore Schwartz, once one of America’s most celebrated writers, died mad and forgotten, having produced little in his later life. His story remains a compelling cautionary tale for American Jews.
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
Thank God we have better stuff to read
In The Mighty Walzer, Howard Jacobson serves up not just the greatest ping-pong novel ever written but a rollicking portrait of mid-century Jewish Manchester
Plus whom Anne Frank belongs to, and more
Friends and Politics, Part 3: Norman Podhoretz. The neoconservative icon and I weren’t personally close, but we shared a more important bond, over the struggle to defend Israel and American Jewry.