Richard Elman Introduction

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(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Elman, Richard 1934–

Elman is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, and critic. Most critics consider his trilogy of the Yagodah family—The 28th Day of Elul, Lilo's Diary, and The Reckoning—to be his most successful work. The trilogy tells the story of a Jewish family during the Holocaust, with each novel relating the same circumstances from the point of view of a different family member. These novels are unusual in that they do not idealize the victims of the Holocaust, but portray them as very human, fallible people. Elman is also the author of The Poorhouse State, a report on the welfare system that resulted from the two years he spent interviewing welfare recipients on New York's Lower East Side. He has also written under the pseudonym Eric Pearl. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 17-20, rev. ed.)