Chaim Potok dead at 73
July 24, 2002 5:14 AM   Subscribe

Chaim Potok dead at 73 Author of The Chosen, The Promise, My Name Is Asher Lev, and and many others has died of Brain Cancer. Here is a link to a biography and selections of his work for anyone who may be unfamiliar with his life and work.
posted by atom128 (7 comments total)
I loved his stuff. I'm not Jewish, but thought he did a wonderful job writing about the tensions between religion and the artist.
posted by mecran01 at 6:28 AM on July 24, 2002

I read and quite enjoyed My Name Is Asher Lev. I hadn't looked up any of his other stuff. I think I'll do that now.
posted by ODiV at 7:09 AM on July 24, 2002

Wow, I had no idea. I've read 5 of his books (My Name is Asher Lev, Gift of Asher Lev, The Chosen, Davita's Harp, & I Am the Clay). He is one of the most gifted writers I've had the privilege to read.

Along with what mecran01 said, anyone who has had a struggle with family/religion, family/art, religion/art would probably really relate to the Asher Lev books. He also provides a great insight into the broad spectrum of Judaism--from Hasidic Jews to communist Jews.
posted by witchstone at 7:57 AM on July 24, 2002

"The Chosen" is a fantastic read. It gives a great history of Hasidism and does well explaining some of the tensions between orthodox and reformed Judaism.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:48 AM on July 24, 2002

Potok was amazing. He spoke at my college once and I covered it for the school paper, and I remember he had the whole room rapt with his speaking ability. He told the story that's repeated in all his obits, about how he told his mother he wanted to write stories, and she said "Stories? You'll be a brain surgeon, on the side you'll write stories."
posted by GaelFC at 9:32 AM on July 24, 2002

The only other authors that i own more of are Frank Herbert & AE Van Vogt.

I've been waiting for another Asher Lev book for so long...wanted to see what would happen. Hope some unfinished manuscript is around.

witchstone...very insightful. The religion/art/family conflicts in my own life definately influenced my love of Potoks work.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:41 PM on July 24, 2002

I highly recommend The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev. I have read several others but these were my favorites. As the oldest son and grandson of ministers I appreciated Potok's portrayal of familial pressures and expectations regarding religious decisions.
posted by tdstone at 5:11 PM on July 24, 2002

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