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MazorGuide HomeCulture > Book Club > Jewish Identity: Jewish writers and the books they author

Jewish Identity in Books of Fact and Fiction

Jewish identity was, is, and will continue to be a topic that engages, preoccupies, disturbs, and perhaps may haunts many of us. Our "Jewishness" determines for better or worse who we are, what we are, and where we physically choose to be.

Some of the major influences that continually form, shape, and fashion our Jewish psyche and our cultural expression are events that dictated the course of our lives in the last two centuries:  The vast migration from Eastern Europe starting in the mid 1800s (mostly to the U.S. and Israel) and reaching a peak in first decades of the 20th century; the World Wars, the Holocaust: The War Against the Jews; the expulsion of Jews from the Arab countries: the Turkish and British rule and then the miraculous rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel, all molded and formed the fascinating, exasperating, captivating, and maddening Jewish People of today.

Our experiences as a people are recorded in newspaper archives, history books, social and philosophical writings.  But much of our knowledge or perception of what was emanates from works of fiction and nonfiction by writers, past and present. There is, ultimately, a tremendous body of work that should be included in a list such as this, but we'll begin with handful, though with the intention and hope to see it grow exponentially.

The publications that will be included under "Jewish Identity in Books" will be catalogued under one of the following categories:  Pre-war, Holocaust, and European Influences: Israel, the land, the people; and, Carving a place within Eastern and Western Cultures.

Pre-war, Holocaust and European Influences

Eastern and Western Cultures: Influences and effects
 --- Jewish American Literature - Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk
 --- An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood - by Neal Gabler (Crown 1988)
  How I Came Into My Inheritance - by Dorothy Gallagher (Random House 2001) 

Israel, the land, the people
" A Place Can Make You Cry: Dispatches From an Anxious State," by Daniel Gordi


Read more about Jewish literature

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      Jewish Identity in Literary Works
      Jewish Life: Tradition and Culture 

  Jewish Literature
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