Reading Israel, Reading America: The Politics of Translation between Jews

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


American and Israeli Jews have historically clashed over the contours of Jewish identity, and their experience of modern Jewish life has been radically different. As Philip Roth put it, they are the'heirs jointly of a drastically bifurcated legacy.'But what happens when the encounter between American and Israeli Jewishness takes place in literary form—when Jewish American novels make aliyah, or when Israeli novels are imported for consumption by the diaspora? Reading Israel, Reading America explores the politics of translation as it shapes the understandings and misunderstandings of Israeli literature in the United States and American Jewish literature in Israel. Engaging in close readings of translations of iconic novels by the likes of Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, and Yoram Kaniuk—in particular, the ideologically motivated omissions and additions in the translations, and the works'reception by reviewers and public intellectuals—Asscher decodes the literary encounter between Israeli and American Jews. These discrepancies demarcate an ongoing cultural dialogue around representations of violence, ethics, Zionism, diaspora, and the boundaries between Jews and non-Jews. Navigating the disputes between these'rival siblings'of the Jewish world, Asscher provocatively untangles the cultural relations between Israeli and American Jews.
Original languageAmerican English
Place of PublicationStanford, CA,United States
Number of pages241
ISBN (Electronic)9781503610057, 9781503610941
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameStanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture
PublisherSarah Abrevaya Stein and David Biale


Dive into the research topics of 'Reading Israel, Reading America: The Politics of Translation between Jews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this