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American Jewish Fiction

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American Jewish Fiction

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American Jewish Fiction
A JPS Guide
By Josh Lambert
Jewish Publication Society, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8276-0883-2

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - March 22, 2010

American Jewish Fiction is part of the famed JPS Guide series, and it is a must-have for bibliophiles with an interest in classic Jewish fiction by American authors. In all 125 books that were written in, or translated into English, are critiqued in this book. The books include both novels and short story collections, all of which where written between 1867 and 2007. In addition, all of these books deal with the Jewish-American experience in all its infinite variations. The books are listed according to their date of publication and each entry includes the books title, author, publication date, publisher, and page count - followed by a description of the book and suggestions for further readings. When pertinent, information about the language in which the book was originally written in is included, as well as who translated the book into English.

Other features of this guide include a detailed introduction that places American Jewish fiction within the historical context in which it is written and the various themes that permeate Jewish fiction - from novels about immigrants and politics to Israel and the Holocaust. You'll also find an overview of Jewish Characters that can be found in modern American fiction written by both Jewish and non-Jewish writers, and a brief overview of some of the numerous books about America that were written in Yiddish and Hebrew, but have not yet been translated into English. You'll also find a list of bibliographic resources devoted to American Jewish fiction, a list of some of the many anthologies of American Jewish fiction, and list of the winners of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction from 1949-2007, as well as a list of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award winners from 1963-2007.

Lambert has done an outstanding job of selecting the books to be included in this guide, and in constructing the book synopsis. While not every work of American Jewish fiction as been included in this guide, Lambert has included those titles that are considered to be classics as well as a number of lesser known titles that had an impact on the American literary scene - both in Jewish and non-Jewish circles.

Some of the works detailed in this guide include: In short, the JPS Guide to American Jewish Fiction is essential reading for any lover of fiction, and it is a must-have reference guide for all libraries.

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