A Literary Journey to Jewish Identity: Re-Reading Bellow, Roth, Malamud, Ozick, and Other Great Jewish Writers by Stephen B. Shepard | Bayberry Books

A Literary Journey to Jewish Identity: Re-Reading Bellow, Roth, Malamud, Ozick, and Other Great Jewish Writers by Stephen B. Shepard - new from Bayberry Books. On March 20th, 2018, Bayberry Books www.bayberrybooks.com will release Shepard's new novel, available via Amazon, Kindle, iBookstore and Nook. Subsequent tour dates will follow release including the first event, at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Please find more details at www.jewishidentitybooktour.com.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - March 7, 2018 - PRLog -- In this literary memoir, to be published on March 20, Stephen B. Shepard explores the golden age of Jewish Writers in post-war America. He describes his encounters with several of the writers who inspired him and influenced his sense of Jewish identity. He writes as an enthusiastic reader, a fan watching his team play.

Though Shepard himself wasn't a very observant Jew by the time he entered college, many of the writers he was reading were Jewish. In fact, it was largely his interest in these Jewish writers that allowed his Jewish identity to flicker at all during his days of absence from Judaism. Some of these writers were overtly Jewish, like Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth; some were slyly so, like Saul Bellow; and some were not-at all-so, like J.D. Salinger and Norman Mailer. What, he wondered, did it mean to be a Jewish-American writer? Was there such a thing as a Jewish-American novel? And even more basic: Why did he care so much about these books? What did it mean, in his case, to be Jewish?

Shepard describes the anti-Semitism directed at Saul Bellow; details the literary feud between Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud, muses about the "Jewish" John Updike; contemplates anew the horror of the Holocaust through the writing of Cynthia Ozick; and sheds light on Arthur Miller's unwillingness to admit that Willy Loman, the famous protagonist of Death of a Salesman, was actually a Jewish character.

Through these writers, he was able to think more deeply about what it means to be Jewish -- thus keeping the door open to his eventual return to Judaism. His literary journey helped him come to terms with his own place in the Jewish firmament.


Stephen B. Shepard is the founding dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. His tenure as dean ran from 2005 to 2013. Earlier, he served as senior editor at Newsweek, editor of Saturday Review and editor-in-chief of Business Week. He was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors from 1992 to 1994 and was inducted into its hall of fame in 1999. His first book, Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path From Print To Digital, was published by McGraw-Hill in September 2012. He is married to Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt. They have two adult children.

CONTACT: StephenShepard5@gmail.com + gabe@bayberrybooks.com + www.bayberrybooks.com

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