Adam Kirsch

The Imaginary Jew
July 09, 2012

What is genuinely illuminating in the Bech stories is not what John Updike knows about Jewishness, which is not very much, but what he imagines about

In and Out of History
June 13, 2012

In every respect, The World Without You marks an advance on Joshua Henkin’s previous book, Matrimony, which came out in 2007. On the spectrum of Ameri

The Imagination Catches Up
May 08, 2012

Laurent Binet sets out to retell the life story of Reinhard Heydrich—one of the primary architects of the Holocaust and the highest ranking Nazi offic

Modern Supernaturalism
April 24, 2012

To read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s collected stories is to realize the extent of American Jewish piety toward the Old World, because of its total absence

Freedom Porn
April 20, 2012

Parallel Stories By Péter Nádas Translated by Imre Goldstein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1,133 pp., $40)  Péter Nádas’s novel begins with the most formulaic kind of narrative device: the discovery of a corpse.

The Wound
March 19, 2012

Mr. Sammler’s Planet is not a “Holocaust novel.” It is, emphatically, a novel about its own time and place—New York in 1969, during the summer of the

Absent and Present
February 29, 2012

By Blood, the marvelously creepy new novel by Ellen Ullman reads like a nineteenth-century novel, but grapples with the problems of Jewish identity in

Presciently Sad
February 08, 2012

The rediscovery of Joseph Roth has been one of the happiest literary developments of the last decade or so—perhaps the first time that the word “happy

Lovers and Jews
January 24, 2012

In defiance of the Holocaust, Giorgio Bassani claims the Jamesian right to draw the circumference of the story where he wants it, where it is most art

The Individual Soul
December 06, 2011

Writing the story of the Holocaust is a futile ambition—not because the events of 1939 to 1945 are too horrible to be told, but because they are too v

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