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My Name Is Asher Lev Paperback – March 11, 2003
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“A novel of finely articulated tragic power. . . . Little short of a work of genius.” --The New York Times Book Review
“Memorable. . . . Profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art.”--The Wall Street Journal
“Such a feeling of freshness, of something brand-new. . . . Attention-holding and ultimately moving.” --The New York Times
“Engrossing and illuminating.” --Miami Herald
From the Publisher
My Name is Asher Lev-Chaim Potok became a favorite author of mine after reading My Name is Asher Lev. I've since had the pleasure of hearing Chaim Potok speak on two occasions. To hear him answer questions regarding Asher Lev and his paintings is evidence of the true craftsmanship of this author. A most amazing part of the story is the integration of Christian ideals in the Jewish character of Asher Lev and his artwork. Its a truly remarkable story.
-Jocelyn Schmidt, Ballantine National Sales Coordinator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book educates the reader on the Jewish traditions as well as the artist's tools and journey and the tortured decisions he feels compelled to make for the sake of his muse.
Deep, complex and intense characters and wonderfully descriptive writing with a sometimes slow pace provides a rich and rewarding experience. I'll definitely read the sequel and other books by Chaim Potok.
This book addresses the the conflict when powers of culture and religion are set up against individual needs and passions.
The main character grows as a character, but doesn't really mature as an adult. He comes across as autistic to be honest. The other major characters are all well developed and believable, although a few of the minor characters border on being stereotypes. Definitely a good book for those who enjoy a good emotional roller coaster.
Since Asher's use of images of the crucifixion of Jesus is constant from very early on, it will spoil nothing if I mention a theme that is very pronouced at the point where Asher produces his masterpiece. Asher's father, and generations of the family before him, had a mission of atonement. Asher's adapting the Christian symbol of atonement in expressing this is brilliant and very intense. (I do not wish to spoil the action and awareness that develops this theme for the new reader of this work, but pay close attention!)
The development of a distinguished artist in a climate which, in his earliest years, he learns is "not a pretty world" leaves the reader with much matter for thought and powerful emotion. It is a brilliant work.