From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, a moving inquiry into the dramatic life, epic success, and ultimate tragedy of the great Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik
"An excellent study of the varied vicissitudes of Bialik's life and work and of his self-willed transition from the supreme poet of Hebrew to the champion of all writing in Hebrew. A valuable resource for those interested in Hebrew poetry, Jewish literature, or the history of Russian Jewry."—Choice
National Jewish Book Award finalist in the category of Biography, Autobiography and Memoir
By the time he was twenty-eight, Hayim Nahman Bialik was already considered the National Hebrew Poet. He had only published a single collection, but his deeply personal poetry established a profound link between the secular and the traditional that would become paramount to a national Jewish identity in the twentieth century. When he died unexpectedly in 1934, the outpouring of grief was unprecedented, confirming him as a father figure for the Zionist movement in Palestine, and around the world.
Using extensive research and elegant readings of Bialik’s poems, Avner Holtzman investigates the poet’s dramatic life, complex personality, beloved verse, and continued popularity. This clear-eyed and thorough biography explores how Bialik overcame intense personal struggles to become a charismatic literary leader at the core of modern Hebrew culture.
About Jewish Lives:
Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biography designed to explore the many facets of Jewish identity. Individual volumes illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Subjects are paired with authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the range and depth of the Jewish experience from antiquity to the present.
In 2014, the Jewish Book Council named Jewish Lives the winner of its Jewish Book of the Year Award, the first series ever to receive this award.
More praise for Jewish Lives:
"Excellent" –New York Times
"Exemplary" –Wall Street Journal
"Distinguished" –New Yorker
"Superb" –The Guardian
Avner Holtzman is professor of Hebrew Literature and former head of the Katz Institute for Research in Hebrew Literature at Tel Aviv University. He is author or editor of more than fifty books.
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