Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chaim Potok

I read in the Writers Almanac today that it's author Chaim Potok's birthday.

For the longest time, he was my favorite author. Still ranks up there. The Chosen is a masterpiece, I think. I am not fond of his Korea writings as much as his Jewish ones, but they're still absolutely poetic in their style. My all-time favorite is still Davita's Harp.

From Garrison Keillor's email:

It's the birthday of Chaim Potok, (books by this author) born in the Bronx (1929). His parents were immigrants from Poland, and he grew up in a strict Orthodox Jewish culture. When he was about 14 years old, he happened to pick up a copy of Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, and it changed his life. He said, "I lived more deeply inside the world in that book than I lived inside my own world." And over the years, he read as much as he could, and he moved away from his parents' strict beliefs. But when he started to write fiction, he went back to his childhood, and he wrote The Chosen (1967), a best-selling novel about two boys growing up together in Brooklyn in the 1940s. One of the boys, Danny, is expected to become a Hasidic rabbi like his father, but he is more interested in Freud and psychology. The other, Reuven, is more integrated into mainstream society. Potok continued their story in The Promise (1969), and wrote about similar conflicts between religious and secular communities in many more novels, including My Name is Asher Lev (1972), The Book of Lights (1981), and a group of three related novellas, Old Men at Midnight (2001).

No comments:

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...