My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

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"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art."
Here is the original, deeply moving story of Asher Lev, the religious boy with an overwhelming need to draw, to paint, to render the world he knows and the pain he feels, on canvas for everyone to see. A loner, Asher has an extroardinary God-given gift that possesses a spirit all its own. It is this force that must learn to master without shaming his people or relinquishing any part of his deeply felt Judaism. It will not be easy for him, but he knows, too, that even if it is impossible, it must be done....
"A novel of finely articulated tragic power...Little short of a work of genius."

About Chaim Potok

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Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated from Yeshiva University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was ordained as a rabbi, and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America. Potok's first novel, The Chosen, published in 1967, received the Edward Lewis Wallant Memorial Book Award and was nominated for the National Book Award. He is author of eight novels, including In the Beginning and My Name is Asher Lev, and Wanderings, a history of the Jews. He died in 2002.
Published July 1, 2009 by Anchor. 340 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History, Children's Books, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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When it becomes obvious Asher cannot assume a preordained role, the Rebbe gives him a cautious blessing and Asher studies painting with Jacob Kahn, an elderly artist, while Asher's father deepens the silence which divides them.

Apr 06 2012 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

Book Reporter

At once exquisitely understated and elegantly articulated, Chaim Potok's MY NAME IS ASHER LEV focuses on a man who treads the nebulous boundary between the secular and the spiritual.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

The Washington Post

Child prodigy Asher Lev, played with fierce inquisitiveness by Alexander Strain, is seen as a very young boy and through his splashy debut in the New York art scene.

Mar 27 2010 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

NY Daily News

Fittingly for a play about embracing — at any cost — one’s identity and place in the world, the words of the title are heard bookending the show.

Nov 29 2012 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

Broad Street Review

BY: Steve Cohen 01.27.2009 My Name Is Asher Lev is a gratifying play about father-son conflict.

Jan 25 2013 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

New York Post

With his dark eyes burning, the young actor — who was meant to be in the aborted revival of Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound” three years ago — brings a grave, sincere intensity to a character willing to sacrifice his culture and faith to follow his calling.

Nov 29 2012 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

Ken Greenleaf

(Let's hope Elevator's version of The Sun Also Rises, now called The Select, will be just as groundbreaking when it comes to the Paramount Theatre next month.) When an adaptation relies almost exclusively on the dialogue of the novel, as does Asher Lev or - Adonai help us - most theatrical versio...

Feb 16 2011 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev


© Joan MarcusAaron Posner's My Name is Asher Lev, running at the Westside Theatre under the direction of Gordon Edelstein, can easily be classified as a Jewish play: the characters are Orthodox Jews, the themes are inherently Jewish, and, for the love of Lox-on-Bagels, his name is Asher Lev.

Nov 28 2012 | Read Full Review of My Name Is Asher Lev

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Alex Reverman 4 Jan 2014

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5