How Shakespeare’s fairy king is descended from Judah Maccabee. Read the essay at Mosaic.
Two of the most highly praised novels of 2018, Dara Horn’s Eternal Life and Sarah Perry’s Melmoth, feature a Jewish woman born in ancient Judea who still walks the earth today. The trope is a feminine twist on the legend of the Wandering Jew. Read the essay at the Jewish Review of Books.
New books by Maya Arad and Galit Dahan Carlibach portray Israelis making their way as best they can in America and in life. Read the full essay at the Jewish Review of Books.
Two new novels offer angles of vision into Jewish experience in the (pre- or non-Israeli) parts of the modern Middle East. Read the full essay at Mosaic.
Judas, the latest novel by Amos Oz, is ostensibly an allegory about both the state of Israel and the betrayal of Jesus. However, at its heart it seems to be about the literary reputation of Amos Oz. Read the full essay at Mosaic.
He is heir to the Islamic Caliphate, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Jewish kingdom of Septimania--but does he get the girl? Read the full review at the Jewish Review of Books.
Reubeni, Prince of the Jews, a surprisingly contemporary 1925 novel by Kafka’s close friend Max Brod, reminds us of the perils of elevating utopianism over the responsibilities of politics. Read the full essay at Mosaic.
Israeli reviewers have repeatedly invoked the word “ambitious” to describe Reuven Namdar’s Hebrew novel, Habayit asher neḥerav (“The House That Was Destroyed”), which in January won the Sapir prize, Israel’s equivalent of Britain’s Man Booker award. The term is richly deserved. In The House That Was Destroyed, Namdar, an Israeli of Persian descent who for the … Continue reading An Israeli Writer’s Great American Novel
A powerful new film, available online, shows us the man who more than any other shaped the modern Hebrew language. A boy walks with his mother at night. Behind them looms the moon, impossibly huge. Trees stream by as if beamed from the headlights of passing cars, followed by the humps of shtetl houses and Jews … Continue reading The Russians Have Pushkin, the Jews Have Bialik
In awarding the 2014 Nobel Prize for literature to Patrick Modiano, a French novelist whose father was Jewish, did the Swedish Academy intend some kind of comment on the ongoing eruption of violent anti-Semitism on the streets of Paris and other European cities this year? It’s tempting to think so. But if there was a … Continue reading Patrick Modiano’s (Jewish?) Sorrow