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Jews and Non-Jews: Memories and Interactions from the Perspective of Cultural Studies


Edited By Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Jacek Partyka

The book adds new studies of memories and interactions between Jews and non-Jews to the historical and cultural research on this topic. It gathers in one volume the results of work by scholars from several countries, while the topics of the articles cover various disciplines: history, sociology, psychology, literary and language studies. The specific themes refer to the cultures and interactions with non-Jews in places such as Kiev, Vienna, Ireland, Springfield, Sosúa as well as reflect upon interactions in literary texts by Czesław Milosz and other Polish writers, some contemporary Jewish-American novelists and South American writers. Finally there are texts referring to the experience of the Holocaust and the post-Holocaust trauma as well as German-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations and heritage.
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Temptations of Non-Jewish Lifestyle in Allegra Goodman’s and Pearl Abraham’s Novels


This paper juxtaposes and analyses Allegra Goodman’s Kaaterskill Falls (1998) and Pearl Abraham’s The Romance Reader (1995), two contemporary novels written by representatives of third-generation Jewish American female writers. One of the central issues addressed in the books is the problem of American and Jewish identities in the late 20th century, as well as the exploration of tensions and conflicts between Orthodox Judaism and contemporary American secularism. Another important preoccupation of Goodman’s and Abraham’s fiction is the return of contemporary Jewish women to Jewish religious practice, spirituality and communal life. In her autobiographical article “Writing Jewish Fiction In and Out of the Multicultural Context”, which can also in part be regarded as a literary manifesto for many of the third-generation Jewish American writers, Allegra Goodman proclaimed that “Jewish American writers must recapture the spiritual and the religious dimension of Judaism” (“Writing” 273) in order to revive and sustain it. In much of their fiction, and especially in their novels, Kaaterskill Falls and The Romance Reader, Allegra Goodman and Pearl Abraham have succeeded in achieving that purpose.

Even more specifically, the aim of this paper is to discuss the position of women in Jewish Orthodoxy as depicted in Kaaterskill Falls and The Romance Reader, as well as to present the various outcomes of the characters’ attempts at negotiating the sacred and the secular in their lives. In both books, the secular refers not only to non-religious, but also, to some extent, non-Jewish because it stems from the...

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