In this Book

Unfinalized Moments
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Focusing on a diversely rich selection of writers, the pieces featured in Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Fiction explore the community of Jewish American writers who published their first book after the mid-1980s. It is the first book-length collection of essays on this subject matter with contributions from the leading scholars in the field. The manuscript does not attempt to foreground any one critical agenda, such as Holocaust writing, engagements with Zionism, feminist studies, postmodern influences, or multiculturalism. Instead, it celebrates the presence of a newly robust, diverse, and ever-evolving body of Jewish American fiction. This literature has taken a variety of forms with its negotiations of orthodoxy, its representations of a post-Holocaust world, its reassertion of folkloric tradition, its engagements with postmodernity, its reevaluations of Jewishness, and its alternative delineations of ethnic identity. Discussing the work of authors such as Allegra Goodman, Michael Chabon, Tova Mirvis, Rebecca Goldstein, Pearl Abraham, Jonathan Rosen, Nathan Englander, Melvin Jules Bukiet, Tova Reich, Sarah Schulman, Ruth Knafo Setton, Ben Katchor, and Jonathan Safran Foer, the fifteen contributors in this collection assert the ongoing vitality and ever-growing relevancy of Jewish American fiction.

Table of Contents

  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Narrative
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. Part 1: Dialogues with Orthodoxy and History
  2. pp. 15-94
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  1. “Hardly There Even When She Wasn’t Lost”: Orthodox Daughters and the “Mind-Body Problem” in Contemporary Jewish American Fiction
  2. pp. 17-32
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  1. Southern Discomfort: Revisiting the Jewish Question in Tova Mirvis’s The Ladies Auxiliary
  2. pp. 33-54
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  1. The Ethics of After: Melvin Jules Bukiet, Holocaust Fiction, and the Reemergence of an Ethical Sense in the Post-Holocaust World
  2. pp. 55-67
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  1. The Second-Generation Holocaust Nonsurvivor: Third-Degree Metalepsis and Creative Block in Art Spiegelman’s Maus
  2. pp. 69-80
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  1. “Unfinished Business”: Journeys to Eastern Europe in Thane Rosenbaum’s Second Hand Smoke and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated
  2. pp. 81-94
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  1. Part 2: Folklore, Fantasy, and the Metanarrative
  2. pp. 95-149
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  1. The Escapist: Fantasy, Folklore, and the Pleasures of the Comic Book in Recent Jewish American Holocaust Fiction
  2. pp. 97-111
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  1. A Tale Told About Idiots: The Chelm Story and Holocaust Representation
  2. pp. 113-123
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  1. Laughter and Trembling: The Short Fiction of Steve Stern and Nathan Englander
  2. pp. 125-137
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  1. Metafictional Witnessing in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated
  2. pp. 139-149
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  1. Part 3: (Re)inscribing Jewish Text and Identity
  2. pp. 151-199
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  1. “Were it Not for the Yetzer Hara”: Eating, Knowledge, and the Physical in Jonathan Rosen’s Eve’s Apple
  2. pp. 169-177
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  1. The Sweetheart Is Outside Herself: Writing the Contemporary Jewish American Writer in S. L. Wisenberg’s Ceci Rubin Stories
  2. pp. 179-186
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  1. Jewish American Fiction on the Border: Culture Confrontations, Double Consciousness, and Hybridity in the Work of Pearl Abraham
  2. pp. 187-199
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  1. Part 4: Authors in Their Own Words
  2. p. 201
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  1. Margins within the Margins: An Interview with Ruth Knafo Setton and Farideh Dayanim Goldin
  2. pp. 203-222
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  1. Picturing American Stories: An Interview with Ben Katchor
  2. pp. 223-243
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  1. Questions for Discussion
  2. pp. 245-246
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  1. Contemporary Jewish American Fiction: A Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 247-250
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 251-254
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 255-267
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