aka YA Literature

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No Jewish Fantasy Writers?

Michael Weingrad has an interesting article in the Jewish Review of Books entitled "Why There is No Jewish Narnia." In the article, he discusses the reasons (social, historical, and religious) why he believes there are not a lot of Jewish fantasy (*not* sci-fi!) writers, particularly in the vein of Tolkein or Lewis. It's a pretty interesting article, although a lot of it seems to be impressionistic or opinionated rather than something that could really be proven. Weingrad mentions a couple of recent Jewish fantasy writers like Lev Grossman and Hagar Yani, and I started trying to think of other Jewish fantasy writers. The only one I came up with is Cassandra Clare, although her fantasy isn't precisely Tolkein-esque (it's definitely "modern" and urban as Weingrad describes -- although City of Glass was less so) . I remember once when I heard her speak, she mentioned how she knew she wanted Simon to become a vampire because as someone who is Jewish, she always wondered why Jews couldn't be vampires since crosses don't mean anything religious to them.

Any other Jewish fantasy writers?


Anonymous said...

Here's a fair-sized list:

A lot of the authors there, but far from all, write mostly science fiction. Many -- such as Harlan Ellison -- have at least some works that fall pretty definitely in the realm of fantasy. Some write almost wholly fantasy, such as Peter Beagle (best known for "The Last Unicorn," though that's not his best book) and Jane Yolen.

Absent from that list are better-known-as-mainstream Michael Chabon, who won the Hugo and Nebula awards for "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," and Cassandra Clare, and no doubt others.

Anonymous said...

Oh -- also missing from that list, though on that site's "FAMOUS" list, is World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Fritz Leiber: