Asch, Sholem or Shalom (shōˈləm ăsh, shäˈləm) [key], 1880–1957, Jewish novelist and playwright, b. Poland. He first came to the United States in 1909, was naturalized in 1920, and lived in various parts of Europe and the United States. He settled in Israel in 1956. One of the most widely known Yiddish writers, he won his first success with the play The God of Vengeance, produced by Max Reinhardt in Berlin in 1910 and given in many languages and places since then. Among his works available in English translations are the novels Mottke the Thief (1917), Uncle Moses (1920), Three Cities (1933), The War Goes On (1935), The Nazarene (1939), The Apostle (1943), One Destiny (1945), East River (1946), Mary (1949), Salvation (1951), Moses (1951), A Passage in the Night (1953), and The Prophet (1955). His two collections of short stories and novelettes are Children of Abraham (1942) and Tales of My People (1948). Asch's writings often depict Jewish life in Europe and in the United States, and later works reflect the common spiritual heritage of Jews and Christians. Several of his plays were very successful in the Yiddish theater in New York City.
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