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Contemporary Israeli Short Fiction

Dr. Wendy Zierler 

If modern Hebrew literature was born of a desire to solve the problem of Jewish life in Diaspora and to promote the Zionist cultural project, contemporary Israeli literature is very different indeed. Proving the tremendous success of the project of Hebrew cultural revival, contemporary literature has also come to reflect an increasingly fragmented Israeli identity and society, one riven with oppositions between ethnic and social groups, collectivism and individualism, religion and secularism. Earlier Hebrew literature often reflected a disdain for the Diaspora, whereas contemporary writing often displays a fascination with what the world outside of Israel might offer. And if much of early Hebrew literature skirted the issue of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians over the land, contemporary Israeli fiction tackles this issue head on. Classic figures such as Oz and Yehoshua will be explored, but our focus will be primarily on newer writers such as Etgar Keret, Savyon Liebrecht, and Sayed Kashua.

All readings provided in English.


Wednesdays, 7:00 -8:30 p.m.
July 10, 17, 31 and August 7, 2013
Park Avenue Synagogue
50 East 87th Street
New York, NY 10128


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Wendy Zierler
WENDY ZIERLER is associate professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is the author of And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women's Writing, a feminist haggadah commentary in My People's Haggadah, To Speak her Heart, an illustrated anthology of Jewish women's prayers and poems, and The Selected Writings of Hava Shapiro, a collaboration with HUC-JIR colleague Carole Balin.


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