Young Jewish Writers Cool With Being Jewish

alt hed: 'New Yiddishists' Bring Ethnic Pride to the Page
By Erika Solomon,  Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2009 12:58 PM CDT
Young Jewish Writers Cool With Being Jewish
Unlike the "New Yiddishists," celebrated author Philip Roth creates characters at odds with their Jewish background   (AP Photo)

America’s young Jewish writers are “turning the narrative of assimilation on its head,” writes Daniel Sax in Vanity Fair, and hitting the best-seller list in the process. Unlike Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, who angrily “wrote from experiences directly connected to the traumas of immigration and the Holocaust,” Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon, and other “New Yiddishists” are embracing their Jewish identity, with stories that rely more on “unambigiously Jewish” characters than racy rendezvous with blonde gentiles. 

They’re the literary vanguards of a widespread Jewish revival within American culture, says Sax: From “He’Brew” (the Chosen Beer), to websites like “Heeb” and “Jewcy,” American Jewry is experiencing reverse assimilation. Still, the New Yiddishists don’t agree about the extent of this new identity—many writers chafe at specifically “Jewish” literary labels. (More Jewish stories.)

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