A Literary Journey to Jewish Identity: Re-Reading Bellow, Roth, Malamud, Ozick, and Other Great Jewish Writers by Stephen B. Shepard
Listen to our podcast with author Stephen Shepard here.
Born and raised Jewish, Stephen B. Shepard ceased to be observant by the time he entered college. He simply retreated into his own private diaspora: a Jew in name only, a non-religious member of the tribe, linked only tenuously to the heritage, culture, and social values of Judaism. Yet he was aware that there was a flowering of Jewish writing in post-war America : and that many of the authors he was reading were Jewish. What, he wondered, did it mean to be a Jewish-American writer? Was there such a thing as a Jewish novel? Why did he care so much about these books?
In this literary memoir, Shepard explores his encounters with a few writers who influenced his sense of Jewish identity: and his ultimate return to the fold. He describes the anti-Semitism directed at Saul Bellow; details the literary feud between Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud; muses about the “Jewish” John Updike; and contemplates anew the horror of the Holocaust in the work of Cynthia Ozick. Shepard writes as an enthusiastic reader, a fan watching his team play.
Paperback book 2018