By the end of the twentieth century, Daniel Fuchs (fyewks) was best known for his first three novels, Summer in Williamsburg, Homage to Blenholt, and Low Company, which became known as his Williamsburg trilogy. These books, many critics feel, are pioneering works in Jewish American literature that paved the way for some of the greatest Jewish American writers of the second half of the twentieth century, such as Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Bernard Malamud. Nonetheless, few twentieth century readers were familiar with any of Fuchs’s stories or novels.
Fuchs’s parents immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe. Daniel, their fifth child, was born on the lower East Side of New York City, then a largely immigrant Jewish neighborhood. When Daniel was five, his family moved to Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, which became the source from which Fuchs drew the inspiration and much of the material for his trilogy. There, Daniel’s father started selling newspapers and eventually had a concession stand in the Whitehall Building on Battery Place. Fuchs avidly read the newspapers and magazines his father sold and spent much time attending movies and reading novels, activities that would influence his writing.
He graduated from City College in New York in 1930 with a major in philosophy. While there, he wrote for and then edited the college’s literary magazine, The Lavender. After graduating, he taught at Public...
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