Tuesday, 20 December 2011

BookEnds, 1952-2012: 60 great Jewish books of the last 60 years.

On the occasion of Jewish Book Week's 60th anniversary, the team have decided to attempt the impossible task of listing 60 great Jewish books of the last 60 years. They have done so, and the list is diverse in terms of genre, form, voice, politics, style, era, themes, market. This is from the press materials:

The discussions were so heated that at some stage the whole idea seemed doomed. This is a list which aims at reflecting what Jewish Book Week stands for: culturally Jewish, open minded, probing, consensual. To find out more about how the list came about, read the JBW blog, Bagels & Books. They are in alphabetical order and listed as fiction, drama, poetry, non fiction and children's books. [EDIT: I would add, the list covers everything from history, diary, memoir, political science and religion to contemporary realist and allegorical novels, minimal kids' fables and much more. There is laudable openness and diversity here. Of the 60 books, 11 are by women. 49 are by men.]

Now it's your turn. JBW would love as many people as possible to send in their "must have been on the list" choices via email or by posting on facebook. But remember, for every new book, another one has to go.

This is the official Jewish Book Week list of 60 great Jewish books of the last 60 years:

  • Aharon Appelfeld, Badenheim 1931
  • Saul Bellow, Mr Sammler's Planet
  • Linda Grant, When We Lived in Modern Times
  • Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate
  • David Grossman, See Under: Love
  • Joseph Heller, Good As Gold
  • Howard Jacobson, The Mighty Walzer
  • Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
  • Imre Kertesz, Fatelessness
  • Jerzy Kosinski, The Painted Bird
  • Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
  • Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
  • Albert Memmi, The Pillar of Salt
  • Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces
  • Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness
  • Cynthia Ozick, The Shawl
  • Chaim Potok, The Chosen
  • Philip Roth, American Pastoral
  • Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
  • Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
  • Andre Schwartz-Bart, The Last of the Just
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer, Enemies - A Love Story
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus
  • Elie Wiesel, Night
  • Tony Kushner, Angels in America
  • Arthur Miller, The Price
  • Harold Pinter, The Birthday Party
  • Neil Simon, The Odd Couple
  • Arnold Wesker, Roots
  • Yehuda Amichai, Poems of Jerusalem
  • Leonard Cohen, Lyrics
  • Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish
  • Paul Celan, Poems
  • Dannie Abse, Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve
  • Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
  • Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty
  • Bruno Bettelheim, Children of the Dream
  • Avraham Burg, The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise from its Ashes
  • Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust
  • John Gross, A Double Thread
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man
  • Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes
  • Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation
  • Louis Jacobs, We Have Reason to Believe
  • Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Judaism, Human Values and the Jewish State
  • Primo Levi, If This Is a Man
  • Nadezhda Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope
  • Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Problem
  • Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food
  • Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish
  • Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference
  • Roman Vishniac, A Vanished World
  • Edmund de Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes
  • Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish
  • George Steiner, Language and Silence
  • Adin Steinsaltz, The Talmud
  • Judith Kerr, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
  • Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree
  • Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
- JBW 2012 runs from 18th to 26th February at Kings Place in London.
- Read the JBW blog and listen or watch past talks here.
- ORT House, 126 Albert St, NW1 7NE Tel: 020 7446 8772

text (c) Jewish Book Week