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Essential Jewish fiction

17 February 2011

12:03 PM

17 February 2011

12:03 PM

Jason Diamond, who writes for Jewcy, has compiled a list of the greatest Jewish literature of the last 100 years.
Some wonderful choices are included, from Paul Auster’s postmodern New York Trilogy to Joseph Heller’s WWII satire, Catch 22, with Kafka, Proust and Salinger dominating the top
spots.

While the list does not claim to be definitive, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into a rich cultural history and a formidable literary heritage. But Diamond’s selection is perhaps most
distinctive for its variety. The top ten are all distinctive testaments to modern Jewish identity – secular and religious, liberal and orthodox, assimilated or persecuted. But that is not all.
Tablet’s Marc Tracy makes a compelling case that they are also valuable as diverse and imaginative documents of twentieth
century life.


1. The Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka
2. In Search of Lost Time (1913) by Marcel Proust
3. Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth
4. Death of a Salesman (1949) by Arthur Miller
5. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
6. The Trial (1925) by Franz Kafka
7. Herzog (1964) by Saul Bellow
8. The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories (1971) by Cynthia Ozick
9. A Contract With God (1978) by Will Eisner
10. Call it Sleep (1934) by Henry Roth

Rhys Tranter blogs at A Piece of Monologue.


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