European Jewish Literature

The writings of Ashkenazic Jewry spans several languages and centuries.

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Although the Holocaust figures prominently in European Jewish literature of mid-century and later, the great tragedy is not the only subject Jewish writers wrote about. For centuries, family, love, faith, emancipation, civil rights, and war were major topics. The terrifying blow of six million dead, millions displaced, and a culture ruined not only reduced the role of Yiddish, but moved the people who became today’s Jewish writers out of Europe and into America and Israel. Today, the marvelous traditions of Jewish writing, from grappling with God to laughing at poverty, have moved into new and welcoming linguistic homes.

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Aviya Kushner

Aviya Kushner is a Lecturer of Creative Writing at Columbia College of Chicago. She is the author of And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning.