Dr Axel Stähler, Reader in the Department of Comparative Literature, has just co-edited with Professor David Brauner (University of Reading), The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2015).
The collection of essays presents a new departure for, and a potentially (re)defining moment in, literary Jewish Studies. It is the first volume to bring together essays covering a wide range of American, British, South African, Canadian and Australian Jewish fiction. Moreover, it complicates all these terms, emphasising the porousness between different national traditions and moving beyond traditional definitions of Jewishness.
The volume is divided into three parts American Jewish Fiction: British Jewish Fiction; and International and Transnational Anglophone Jewish Fiction. Although this presents a clear structure, many of the essays cross over these boundaries and speak to each other implicitly, as well as, on occasion, explicitly. Extending and redefining the canon of modern Jewish fiction, the volume juxtaposes major authors with more marginal figures, revising and recuperating individual reputations, rediscovering forgotten and discovering new work, and in the process remapping the whole terrain. The book opens windows onto vistas that previously had been obscured and opens doors for the next generation of studies that could not proceed without a wide-ranging, visionary empiricism grounding their work.
For more details of the collection, please see the publisher’s webpage.