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Jewish American Short Stories

Hosted By: The Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University

Telling stories has been an integral part of Jewish life, from the tales that make up the Hebrew Bible to those about contemporary Jewish experiences. Jews have long used the short story to organize and understand the world and their place within it. In this short seminar, we’ll focus on stories written by Jewish-American authors since 1945. We’ll examine how Jews have used the story to wrestle with faith, assimilation, the legacy of the Holocaust, and the construction of Jewish-American identities. Possible stories include: Bernard Malamud’s “The Magic Barrel” and “Angel Levine”; Saul Bellow’s “The Old System”; Grace Paley’s “The Loudest Voice” and “Goodbye and Good Luck”; Philip Roth’s “The Conversion of the Jews”; Allegra Goodman’s “The Art Biz”; and Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.” You may not join the series after the first week has passed (May 13th). 

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