Jewish-American writing holds an essential place in America's literary tradition, and Jewish-American writers have flourished in many genres, including fiction, drama, poetry, and more. "Encyclopedia of Jewish-American Literature" examines hundreds of these authors and works, focusing on those that are part of the high school and college curriculum, as well as the historically significant and contemporary.The coverage includes: The Adventures of Augie March; Dorothy Parker; Chaim Potok; Ragtime; Philip Roth; Isaac Bashevis Singer; Susan Sontag; Elie Wiesel; and more.
Grade 9 Up—In the introduction, Cronin and Berger note that there is a "long-standing debate concerning just who qualifies as a Jewish writer." They state that both those "aligned and not aligned with Jewish religious life in North America" are included, but will readers know to go to a book of this title for information on the famed European Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, for example, who only spent a few years in the United States at the end of his life, or J. D. Salinger, a "mainstream" writer of the 1950s, but whose work and themes would not necessarily be considered Jewish-American? The authors open with a long, chronologically arranged "Survey of Jewish-American Literature." The body of the encyclopedia consists of essays covering more than 100 writers and their literary works, and is arranged alphabetically by both author and title ("Goodbye, Columbus" precedes "Allegra Goodman"). Any nominally Jewish author, playwright, or poet whose works may be assigned in high school or college courses seems to have been included. Stick with Jules Chametzky, et al's Jewish American Literature (Norton, 2000) for a more accurate picture of the genre.