great jewish books

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.

Excerpt: Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (1960)

Vassily Grossman's "Life and Fate" was smuggled out of Stalinist Russia, where it takes place.

Bernard Malamud’s “The Assistant:” A Jewish Struggle for an Ethical Life

Bernard Malamud's "The Assistant" explores Jewish identity in Depression-era Brooklyn.

Clarice Lispector’s “Near to the Wild Heart:” A ‘Lush and Lucid’ First Novel

"Near to the Wild Heart" combines Lispector's Brazilian and Jewish roots into a modern masterpiece.