This book provides a wide-ranging analysis of French Jewish authors born after the Shoah and traces the development of the rich agenda of jeune littérature juive (young Jewish writing) from its beginnings in the late 1970s, into the 1980s and 1990s, when it gained intense momentum. Thomas Nolden uses a wealth of biographical information to expound on his central thesis: the abrupt interruption of transmission of the Jewish heritage by assimilation, migration, and near-extermination required these writers to reinvent themselves, their past, and their memories as Jews.
Nolden provides concise readings of the fiction of more than two dozen writers of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi background living in present-day France. He demonstrates how contemporary Jewish writing has responded historically, culturally, politically, and aesthetically to developments in French society and in Jewish culture. His critical analysis of the major themes, concerns, and stylistic features of the authors’ work connects Jewish writing in France to the traditions of Jewish writing both during the Diaspora and in Israel.
Thomas Nolden is associate professor in the Department of German and Comparative Literature at Wellesley College. He is the author of Young Jewish Writing in Contemporary Austria and Germany and Letters to a Young Poet: Studies in Epistolary Poetics.