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A Focus On Sholem Asch, Yiddish Literature's First Modern Celebrity

Sometimes referred to as Yiddish literature’s first modern celebrity, Sholem Asch’s prolific output of novels and plays included bestsellers in English translation and smash hits on the Yiddish stages of Warsaw and New York. While he is best-known today for his play Got fun nekome (God of Vengeance), which provided the inspiration for Paula Vogel’s Tony-Award winning production Indecent, Asch wrote over twenty more plays exploring Jewish life, past and present, through themes of interfaith love, the Jewish underworld, Messianic dreams, and class and power in the Jewish world. These pieces from our collections, including an article by Yiddish Book Center Bibliographer, and Sholem Asch's great-grandson, David Mazower, and an interview with Asch translator and actor Caraid O'Brien—both of whom will be speakers at our upcoming weekend program, The Plays of Sholem Asch—illuminate Asch's distinctive personality and vision. 



Handpicked Josh Lambert

The Yiddish Book Center's Academic Director, Josh Lambert is the author of Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture, and American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide. His reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Haaretz, the Forward, the Globe and Mail, and many academic journals. Josh is constantly searching our collections for material for his teaching and writing. Here are some of his latest finds.