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The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction

Edited by David Brauner, Axel Stähler

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WINNER of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Judaica Reference Award

Provides critical overviews of the main writers and key themes of Anglophone Jewish fiction

This collection of essays represents a new departure for, and a potentially (re)defining moment in, literary Jewish Studies. It is the first volume to bring together 28 chapters covering a wide range of American, British, South African, Canadian and Australian Jewish fiction.

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List of Illustrations
Preface: Jews Have Legs, Mark Shechner
Introduction: Modern Jewish Fiction, David Brauner and Axel Stähler
I: American Jewish Fiction
1: Pioneering Women Writers and the Deghettoisation of Early American Jewish Fiction, Lori Harrison-Kahan
2: Sensibilities of Estrangement: Delmore Schwartz, Isaac Rosenfeld and Saul Bellow, Catherine Morley
3: The Making of American Jewish Identities in Postwar American Fiction, Victoria Aarons
4: ‘Are you kidding me?’: Black Humour in the Work of Joseph Heller, Stanley Elkin, Wallace Markfield, and Bruce Jay Friedman, David Gooblar
5: American Jewish Life Writing, Illness, and the Ethics of Innovation, Aimee Pozorski
6: From Feminist to Housewife and Back Again: Orthodoxy and Modernity in American Jewish Women’s Writing, Rachel Harris
7: Soviet Jews, Re-Imagined: Anglophone Emigré Jewish Writers from the USSR, Sasha Senderovich
History on a Personal Note: Postwar American Jewish Short Stories, David Brauner
Disappointed Believers? The Jewish Question Mark in Eisner’s ‘A Contract with God’, Sarah Lightman
10: The Holocaust in American Jewish Fiction, Jennifer Lemberg
Representing the Holocaust in Third-Generation American Jewish Writers, Monica Osborne
Marginal Writers
or, Jews Who Aren’t, Debra Shostak
II: British Jewish Fiction
13: The Postwar ‘New Wave’ of British Jewish Writing, Efraim Sicher
14: Jewish Emigré and Refugee Writers in Britain, David Herman
15: Jewish Exile in Englishness: Eva Tucker and Natasha Solomons, Phyllis Lassner
16: Jewish, Half-Jewish, Jew-ish: Negotiating Identities in Contemporary British Jewish Literature, Ruth Gilbert
17: Life Writing and the East End, Devorah Baum
18: ‘Almost too good to be true’: Israel in British Jewish Fiction, Pre-Lebanon, Axel Stähler
19: The Writing on the Wall: Israel in British Jewish Fiction, Post-Lebanon, Axel Stähler
20: British Jewish Holocaust Fiction, Sue Vice
21: Reading Matters: ‘Marginal’ British Jewish Writers, Beate Neumeier
III: International and Transnational Anglophone Jewish Fiction
22: Jewish Writing in Canada, Ira Nadel
23: South African Jewish Writers, Linda Weinhouse
24: Repairing Cracked Heirlooms: South African Jewish Literary Memory of Lithuania and Latvia, Claudia B. Braude
25: Australian Jewish Fiction: A Bibliographical Survey, Serge Liberman
26: ‘Migrant’ Jewish Writers in the Anglophone Diaspora, Sandra Singer
27: Jewish Novels of the Spanish Civil War, Emily Robins Sharpe
28: Mooristan and Palimpstine: Jews, Moors, and Christians in Amitav Ghosh and Salman Rushdie, Shaul Bassi
List of Contributors

About the Author

David Brauner is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Reading. He is the author of two monographs - Post-War Jewish Fiction: Ambivalence, Self-Explanation and Transatlantic Connections (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2001) and Philip Roth (Manchester University Press, 2007) - and has also published widely on twentieth-century Jewish literature, contemporary American fiction and post-war novelizations of biblical narratives.

Dr Axel Stähler is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent. He is the editor of Writing Fundamentalism, with Klaus Stierstorfer (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) and Anglophone Jewish Literature (Routledge, 2007).


This most comprehensive volume is replete with fascinating material creating much food for thought. Sturdily bound, with a typeface not difficult on ageing eyes and an attractive highly recommended for all reference collections.
- William Baker, Northern Illinois University, Reference Reviews, volume 30, issue 4

The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction is a prodigious, paradigm-shifting collection. Made up of leading scholars in the field, it both ranges widely across linguistic and national boundaries and also includes detailed accounts of American, British, South African, Canadian and Australian Jewish fiction. It will transform our understanding of Jewish literary studies.

- Professor Bryan Henry Cheyette, Chair in Modern Literature, University of Reading

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