An archive of the best books lost in the stacks
We scoured Tablet Magazine’s and Nextbook.org’s archives to find books (and their writers) long forgotten. Each week we will feature one lost book and the story behind it. So blow the dust off the cover, and begin!
Hurst and Hurston: Seventy years after their road trip, the best-selling sentimental novelist has run out of gas, while Zora is still in the driver’s seat. By Kate Bolick
No Exit: Raised in the last golden days of the Hapsburgs, the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig found his world shattered by war. By Jennifer Weisberg
Restoration Project: Where have all Bernard Malamud’s readers gone? By Rachel Donadio
Back from the Shadows: Dovid Bergelson’s skepticism served him poorly in life but sublimely in art. By Boris Fishman
Third Look: On rereading Leonard Michaels’s I Would Have Saved Them If I Could. By Shalom Auslander
The Odd-Bod: In literary London, Elias Canetti was everybody’s favorite refugee. By Jonathan Wilson
School Ties: Jacques de Lacretelle won praise when he wrote in Dreyfus’ shadow, but today his portrait of a prep-school peer looks grotesque. By Paul LaFarge
Glamour and Peril: Tempestuous, cold, and intensely private, Elsa Morante considered herself a genius. Are others finally starting to agree? By Andrea Crawford
Melting Point: British playwright Israel Zangwill coined America’s most enduring metaphor as his reputation dissolved in controversy. By Chloe Veltman
Give ‘Em Hecht: A young Chicago newspaperman thought he was perfect for the part of his hero. By Neal Pollack
The Spy Who Loved Me: An Israeli thriller that captivated Graham Greene. By Paul LaFarge
King of the Forest: The Viennese pornographer turned critic who dreamed up Bambi. By David Rakoff
Funny Guys Finish Last: Philip Roth and Bruce Jay Friedman were rising stars in the 1960s. Roth became part of the canon. Friedman became “that guy who wrote Splash.” By Meg Wolitzer
Westward Expansion: Prostitutes, Christian Scientists, cross-dressing teachers. By Margy Rochlin
A Fine Mess: How a filmmaker turned his movie flop into a groundbreaking book. By Lawrence Levi
Asch’s Passion: A popular Yiddish novelist strove for immortality by taking on Jesus, but it cost him his core audience and made him a marked man. By Ellen Umansky
So Big: Human awkwardness was at the heart of Edna Ferber’s popular novels, but she shied away from writing about the outsiders she knew best. By Mollie Wilson
Fall From Grace: In 1843, British novelist Grace Aguilar was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. So how come we’ve never heard of her? By Justin Taylor
A Woman Out of Time: In 1938, at the height of U.S. isolationism, Americans devoured Phyllis Bottome’s chronicle of a German-Jewish family’s struggle to survive under the Nazi regime. By Andrea Crawford
Regatta Land: Amid Harvard’s ivy-covered bricks, the hero of Myron Kaufmann’s Remember Me to God struggles to become part of the in crowd. By Josh Lambert
Great Pretenders: In Romain Gary’s family, invention was the necessity of mother and son. By Emma Garman
Wartime Truths: In 1945, Jerzy Andrzejewski’s novel of the Warsaw ghetto enraged Poles and Jews alike. How will it read to audiences today? By Andrea Crawford
Dizzy with Life: Clarice Lispector’s gorgeous, vibrant writings made one writer’s head—and heart—spin. By Anderson Tepper
Storm Warning: The surprising alliance at the heart of John Oliver Killens. By Josh Lambert
In Bloom: Pearl Buck breathes life into a disappearing Chinese community. By Jennifer Cody Epstein
Toward the Abyss: The final work of a doomed Yiddish novelist. By Elizabeth Mitchell
The Student Who Wouldn’t Go Away: How a bumbling immigrant from Kiev became a literary sensation. By Jennifer Weisberg
What Happened to Mary Berg? A young girl’s account of the Warsaw Ghetto was a big success. Then the diary—and its author—disappeared. By Amy Rosenberg
The Good of ‘A Bad Man:’ How Stanley Elkin hit his stride. By Sarah Almond
The Hermit of Oliphant: After the literary pioneer Dvora Baron immigrated to Palestine, she never again ventured out. By Haim Watzman
The Road Not Taken: Decades before Herzl, Benjamin Disraeli wrote a novel that grappled with Zionism. By Adam Kirsch
Third Life: For Jakov Lind, reinvention was the heart of fiction. By Sasha Weiss
The Paragraph That Changed My Life: On Yaakov Shabtai’s Past Continuous. By Todd Hask-Lowy
Baruch Obama: How a black president was imagined as a Jewish one, more or less. By Ben Greenman
Comeback Kid: Having failed to assimilate, Ludwig Lewisohn went on to write the great American Jewish novel. By Josh Lambert
Beginning of the End: Decadence and anti-Semitism in Arthur Schnitzler’s Vienna. By Wesley Yang
Touchy Subject: Frederick Busch feared his novel Invisible Mending would upset readers. He didn’t anticipate his own discomfort. By Andrea Crawford
Child’s Play: Seventy years ago, a contentious novel scrutinized Judaism through the eyes of a young boy. By Sasha Weiss
Where the Heart Is: A 1951 novel parses the meaning of home. By Elizabeth Gumport
Swallowed Whole: Réjean Ducharme’s mysterious 1966 novel. By Benjamin Nugent
Big Bang: With Lionel Trilling and Robert Giroux cheerleading, Sam Astrachan had a stellar future. Then the glimmer faded. By Josh Lambert
A Wanderer in the Desert: How a tubercular shoemaker became a great Yiddish poet. By Jacqueline Osherow
Of a Feather: Communing with Bernard Malamud’s Jewbird. By Joe Hill
As the great French intellectual Simone Weil understood, modern life is all about work and war. Memorial Day and Labor Day, then, are perfect opportunities to take stock of our modern condition.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.