Tablet Magazine asks this week, “What is Jewish fiction? What makes a Jewish writer?”
This isn’t a new question. A year or so ago, there was this outstanding post on Jeremy Rosen’s blog, considering the same questions, and there are other essays on the subject published elsewhere.
Recently, the online magazine, Tablet, began to publish short fiction. The second story it selected, by young author Justin Taylor, begged the question. The characters weren’t Jewish, but more importantly, there were no allusions to Jewish literature, issues, history or culture in the story. Rabbi Rosen’s argument would disqualify Taylor’s story as an example of Jewish writing by that token. On the other hand, the editors at Tablet certainly felt that since Taylor is Jewish, his story is Jewish.
So I ask: Is Jewish writing by a Jewish author, or must it contain Jewish content?
I’d LOVE input about this issue. Please state your ideas below. If you want to read Taylor’s story, I want to caution you, it contains coarse language.