Modern Hebrew Fiction

Author: Gershon Shaked
Editor: Emily Miller Budick
Indiana University Press
ISBN-10: 0253337119
ISBN-13: 978-0253337115

Modern Hebrew Fiction (Jewish Literature and Culture) is an excellent overview of the development of Hebrew literature, from the very early days of the language's revival as a spoken and written tongue in Europe, to its "normalization" as the literature Jews in their own state. Perhaps this books greatest asset is its thesis of how Hebrew fiction fluctuated between supporting the Zionist meta-script and rebelling against it. Hebrew fiction in the State of Israel could act as an agent to foster group identity and patriotic cohesion and also to illustrate alienation and subversion of the Zionist vision. The book, if anything, tends to be a bit reductive. There are too many hasty judgments in one or two paragraphs of an entire writer's work. But overall, this does not mar the book's usefulness. It is a fine outline of the development of a language and its literature.
(Eric Maroney)