13.2.11

Essential Jewish Literature

Jason Diamond lists the Top 50 Jewish works of the last 100 years
American-Jewish novelist Philip Roth
Jason Diamond, who writes for Jewcy, has compiled a list of the greatest Jewish literature of the last 100 years. Some wonderful choices are included, from Paul Auster's postmodern New York Trilogy to Joseph Heller's WWII satire, Catch 22, with Kafka, Proust and Salinger dominating the top spots. While the list does not claim to be definitive, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into a rich cultural history, and a formidable literary heritage. But Diamond's selection is perhaps most distinctive for its variety. The top ten are all distinctive testaments to modern Jewish identity, but they are also valuable as diverse and imaginative documents of twentieth century life (link via Tablet Magazine):
1. The Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka
2. In Search of Lost Time (1913) by Marcel Proust
3. Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth
4. Death of a Salesman (1949) by Arthur Miller
5. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
6. The Trial (1925) by Franz Kafka
7. Herzog (1964) by Saul Bellow
8. The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories (1971) by Cynthia Ozick
9. A Contract With God (1978) by Will Eisner
10. Call it Sleep (1934) by Henry Roth
Source: Jason Diamond, 'The 50 Most Essential Works Of Jewish Fiction Of The Last 100 Years', Jewcy, 9 February 2011