Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible

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9780151463503: Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible

In elegant, readable language, and with a vibrant sense of shared experience, many of America's leading novelists, poets, and literary critics guide us through the Old Testament, opening a window on how writers today view the Book of Books and throwing light on both American and Jewish culture.

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From Publishers Weekly:

"Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it," so a Jewish sage once described the Torah, and 37 modern Jewish poets, novelists and critics add their biblical interpretations to countless precedents in this somewhat uneven omnibus. At its most personal and contemporaneous, the collection soars: Max Apple fancies a self-doubting Joshua who is "an emblem of all sons hesitating after the death of all fathers"; Anne Roiphe reads in Nehemiah a plea for the return of territories by present-day Israel; Ezra evokes Jay Neugeboren's painful memories of a double lifebeing the least Jewish of his summer friends and the most Jewish of his friends during the school year; and Francine Prose vivifies the irascible God of Malachi. Unfortunately, incongruous here are Harold Bloom's literary analysis of "J," a primary author of Exodus, and Leonard Michaels's repetition of the Freudian interpretation of Jonah. Although many of the writers claim to be rusty or unfamiliar with the Jewish bible, James Atlas on Hosea seems particularly out of his depth and the piece by Gordon Lish, who remembers "whacking off" to the "dirty parts," is insulting. Curiously, Rosenberg (Chosen Days) offers two selections on certain books (Jonah, Daniel, etc.) while ignoring Micah, Haggai and others.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

YA The Jewish tradition of midrash, scholarly interpretation of the Bible, is carried on in a lively, compulsively read able fashion by 37 highly individualistic writers. The books of the Bible are exam ined in the light of contemporary experi ence, ancient scholarship, literary val ue, and divine revelation. The essays are in turn angry, joyous, sad, questioning, and humorous. Young people of any faith will gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Bible. At the root of every essay, and of the book itself, is the absolute and passionate cer tainty that everything in life matters, a certainty sought by many of today's youth. Mary A. Williams, Harris County Public Library

Copyright 1988 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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