- Reed College
The 1990 reunification of Germany gave rise to a new generation of writers who identify as both German and Jewish and often sustain additional affiliations with places such as France, Russia, or Israel. This affords a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between literature and the formation of group identity, and to analyze the foundational moments of a new diaspora literature. “Making German Jewish Literature New” is structured around three “founding gestures,” literary strategies that reinstate the possibility of a German-Jewish literature several decades after the Holocaust. The book shows how authors (1) publicly perform, assert, and/or question their Jewish identities; (2) turn spaces into places by investing them with personal meaning and emotional significance; and (3) remake Holocaust memory at a moment when the remaining eyewitnesses are passing and the Holocaust is turning from memory into history.