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
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi is the executive director of Jewish Book Council. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Prior to her role as executive director, Naomi served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. In addition, she has overseen JBC’s digital initiatives, and also developed the JBC’s Visiting Scribe series and Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.