Jewish Literature

The Sages, or Wise Men, of Chelm

A roundup of the best Chelm stories.

Primo Levi

A prominent Holocaust survivor and author who lost the will to survive.

Sholem Asch

A writer who bridged both Old World and New, but fit into neither.

Jewish American Literature

American Jewish writing depicts the struggles of immigrant life, the stable yet alienated middle-class existence that followed, and finally the unique challenges of cultural acceptance: assimilation and the reawakening of tradition.

Israeli Literature: The New Wave

In the second half of the 20th century, Israeli writers became a voice of critique and protest.

Ben Lerner’s “10:04:” A Look at a Modern Jewish Life

Ben Lerner's "10:04" explores contemporary struggles.

W. G. Sebald’s “Austerlitz:” A Search for Jewish Roots After the Holocaust

In "Austerlitz," W. G. Sebald explores European Jewishness in the post-Holocaust era.

Excerpt: ‘Dolly City’ by Orly Castel-Bloom (1992)

The first pages of this novel introduce its terrifying protagonist.

Philip Roth’s “The Counterlife:” A Five-Part Adventure

Philip Roth's "The Counterlife" explores contradictory realities through its protagonist, Nathan Zuckerman.

Excerpt: “King of the Jews” by Leslie Epstein (1979)

Leslie Epstein's controversial novel explores Jewish power dynamics in the Lodz Ghetto.

Vasily Grossman’s “Life and Fate:” A Journalist’s Retelling of the Horrors of World War II

"Life and Fate" brings the reader to World War II-era Russia, where the novel was written.