Meyer Levin


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Chicago author, graduated from the University of Chicago (1924) before becoming a journalist, which career formed the background of his first novel, Reporter (1929). His other novels are Frankie and Johnny (1930); Yehuda (1931), dealing with life on a Zionist farm commune in Palestine; The New Bridge (1933), about a family evicted from its tenement home; The Old Bunch (1937), a realistic story of the children of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Chicago from 1921 to 1934; Citizens (1940), an analysis of the Chicago Little Steel strike and Memorial Day battle of 1937 as seen by a doctor who figured in The Old Bunch; My Father's House (1947), about a boy's escape from Poland to Palestine; Compulsion (1956), a tense psychological tale based on the Loeb-Leopold case, of which he published his dramatized version (1958), which differed from the Broadway production; Eva (1959), about a Jewish girl's escape during World War II from Poland and a German concentration camp to Israel; and The Fanatic (1964); about an American-Jewish author's dramatization of philosophic fiction by a victim of the Nazis and the attacks upon the playwright by followers of the Communist line, which the play opposes. This novel reflects Levin's own problems related to his dramatization of The Story of Anne Frank, whose rejection he dealt with again in The Obsession (1973). Later novels include The Stronghold (1965), about post-World War II Germany; Gore and Igor (1968), presenting comic adventures of an American and a Russian in Israel during the Six Day War; The Settlers (1972), depicting a Russian immigrant family in Palestine, c.1904–18; The Harvest (1978), a sequel; The Spell of Time (1974), a novella set in Jerusalem; and The Architect (1982), a novel based on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Search (1950) is an autobiography.

Subjects: Literature.

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