Sholem Asch

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Asch, Sholem


Born Jan. 1, 1880, in Kutno, Poland; died July 10, 1957, in London. Jewish writer. Born into a religious family. First published in 1900.

In his novellas The Little Town (1905) and Shloyme the Rich Man (1909) Asch idealized the patriarchal and religious foundations of old-fashioned Jewish life. The play The God of Vengeance (1907), which was directed against prostitution, was performed in the theaters of Russia and on the stages of Western Europe and America. In 1909, Asch went to the USA, where he wrote socially pertinent novels drawn from the lives of Jewish workers: Mottke the Thief (1917), Uncle Moses (1917), The Mother, The Electric Chair, Chaim Lederer’s Return, and others. Asch revived ancient and medieval Jewish legends in such novels as In Praise of God (1920), The Castilian Sorceress (1921), The Psalm-singer (1937), and The Man From Nazareth (1943). The novels Mary (1949) and Moses (1951) are based on biblical themes.


Shriften, vols. 1–8. Warsaw, 1908–1912.
Gezamelte shriften, vols. 1–18. Warsaw, 1924–25.
Kol Keitvn Sholom Ash. Odessa, 1913.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1929–30.
Liudi i bogi: Izbr. proizv. (Introductory article and notes by M. Belen’kii.) Moscow, 1966.


Litvakov, M. Af tsvei frontn. Moscow-Kharkov, 1931.
Reisen, Z. Leksikonfun der iidisher literatur prese un filologie, 2nd ed., vol. 1. Vilnius, 1926.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.