The Writer Uprooted

The Writer Uprooted

Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature
Edited by Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/27/2008
Format: paper 272 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21981-7
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The Writer Uprooted is the first book to examine the emergence of a new generation of Jewish immigrant authors in America, most of whom grew up in formerly communist countries. In essays that are both personal and scholarly, the contributors to this collection chronicle and clarify issues of personal and cultural dislocation and loss, but also affirm the possibilities of reorientation and renewal. Writers, poets, translators, and critics such as Matei Calinescu, Morris Dickstein, Henryk Grynberg, Geoffrey Hartman, Eva Hoffman, Katarzyna Jerzak, Dov-Ber Kerler, Norman Manea, Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, Lara Vapnyar, and Bronislava Volkova describe how they have coped creatively with the trials of displacement and the challenges and opportunities of resettlement in a new land and, for some, authorship in a new language.

Author Bio

Alvin H. Rosenfeld is Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and founder and former director of the Indiana University Borns Jewish Studies Program. He is author of Imagining Hitler (IUP, 1985) and A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature (IUP, 1980). He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.


"The essays in this richly revealing and valuable collection are reports from a late stage and distinct kind of exile, one marked by stark dramas and quiet ambiguities. As these personal and subtle statements show, each emigrant story, and trajectory, is unique and filled with its particular details of difficulty and success, private sorrow and unexpected satisfactions." —from the afterword by Eva Hoffman

"[T]his is a worthwhile read. . . . Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, general readers." —
Choice , March 2009

"This engrossing volume brings evocative personal accounts of displacement—physical, emotional, and particularly linguistic—by contemporary writers like Norman Manea, Lara Vapnyar, and Geoffrey Hartman." —
Jewish Book World , Spring 2009

"What binds the writers in this book together, despite their varied approaches to exile and emigration, is that they all moved from one place and ideological system - the Soviet Union and Communist eastern Europe - to another, the United States, where they each have found quite successful personal and
professional homes as writer, thinkers and tenured professors. This is no small feat for a fiction writer. . . Perhaps this is one of the volume's unwitting arguments: late twentieth/early twenty-first-century America is now or has once again become the cosmopolitan reservoir of so much Jewish literary creativity." —David Shneer, University of Colorado, East European Book Review , Vol. 39.2 August 2009

"[T]his is an immensely valuable collection of truly stimulating essays." —
SHOFAR , Vol. 28, no. 1, 2009

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Table of Contents

Introduction / Alvin H. Rosenfeld

Nomadic Language / Norman Manea
On Norman Manea's The Hooligan's Return / Matei Calinescu
Writing about Uprootedness / Henryk Grynberg
Exile as Life after Death in the Writings of Henryk Grynberg and Norman Manea / Katarzyna Jerzak
The Writer as Tour Guide / Lara Vapnyar
Questions of Identity: The New World of the Immigrant Writer / Morris Dickstein
A Displaced Scholar's Tale: The Jewish Factor / Geoffrey Hartman
Exile: Inside and Out / Bronislava Volková
From Country to Country: My Search for Home / Zsuzsanna Ozsvath
Finding a Virtual Home for Yiddish Poetry in Southern Indiana / Dov-Ber Kerler
Afterword / Eva Hoffman

List of Contributors