My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok

I have to say that My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok, is one of the best contemporary novels I have ever read. I don't know what I can say to encourage you to read this one other than the fact that I am normally really picky with my novels and very few of them make it onto my "great" list.

I was required to read this novel for my creative writing class in my first year here at BYU. I had never heard of the book before, nor the author, and my professor was an interesting character so I was a little hesitant to dive straight into reading this one at first.

However, after purchasing My Name is Asher Lev, I had left it on my desk and my roommate saw it. She quickly exclaimed that it was one of the best books she had ever read. So, a little curious, I began to read it.

My Name is Asher Lev is about a young Jewish boy who grows up to become an artist. In this beautifully written novel the author, Chaim Potok, illustrates the internal struggle Asher Lev faces in trying to balance his love for his religion and his love for art. Eventually his obsession with the creative world distances him from his home, his culture, and his family.

Since I am a huge nerd for all things literature and art, I fell in love with Potok's novel quickly. He beautifully explains the clash between cultures, and the struggle of doing what you love versus becoming who your parents expect you to be.

I rarely make this claim but Chaim Potok has woven in a love of writing and a love of stories so incredibly well that My Name is Asher Lev is definitely well worth your time.

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