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Letters to America: Selected Poems of Reuven Ben-Yosef

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by Michael Weingrad
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Letters to America: Selected Poems of Reuven Ben-Yosef by Michael Weingrad

Letters to America presents the life and work of an accomplished Jewish poet who exchanged the American promised land for the Israeli one, yet struggled to exorcise the ghosts of his American past and make his home in the Jewish state. Born Robert Reiss in 1930s New York, in 1959 Reuven Ben-Yosef bade farewell to his affluent, assimilated family, immigrated to a kibbutz on Israel's border with Syria, changed his name, and began the process of recreating himself as a Hebrew poet. He went on to publish volumes of exquisite Hebrew verse and win literary awards, to fight in the Yom Kippur War and in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, and to raise three Israeli children. Yet many of his greatest and most emotionally rending poems were about his stormy relationship with his parents and siblings and the American world he left behind. This volume offers a wide selection of Ben-Yosef's poems in English translation, as well as an engaging biographical essay about the poet's life and work, based on interviews with the Israeli family he created in Israel and the American family he sought to come to terms with. Reframing our notions of Jewish American literature, and deepening our understanding of the Israeli-American relationship, Letters to America puts American-Israeli writing on the literary map.

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Ebook Details
Size: 1.6 MB
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 2370007624676 (DRM-EPUB)
9780815653257 (DRM-PDF)

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This product is listed in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Poetry
Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography > Literary
Nonfiction > Literary Criticism > Jewish

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