The ProsenPeople

Isaac Rosenfeld is Back

Friday, May 08, 2009 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

His story is, I mean. With a new book out from Yale University Press on his his life, Rosenfeld’s Lives: Fame, Oblivion, and the Furies of Writing, the web has been abuzz with his name.

When Rosenfeld’s “luminescent” novel, Passage from Home, was published in the 1940′s, literary circles thought he might surpass his closest friend and lifelong rival, Saul Bellow. However, Rosenfeld’s promising literary career was halted at the age of thirty-eight, when he was felled by a heart attack. Steven J. Zipperstein, author ofRosenfeld’s Lives, aims to peel back the layers of Rosenfeld’s genius, and uncover the man behind the work. Utilizing hundreds of private letters, among other documents, Zipperstein pieces together Rosenfeld’s story and attempts to open up his work in a way that sheds light on his ultimate goal: “to produce a luminescent fiction that melded philosophy with the most concrete, fleshly stirrings of life.”

A review of the new title is forthcoming from Jewish Book World, but here’s some of the other buzz to hold you over:

Steven Zipperstein talks to Nextbook about Rosenfeld

Steven Pollack of The Jewish Literary Review on Rosenfeld’s Lives

The Incomplete Rosenfeld on JBooks.com