Ideas for Group Discussions
Sources for Further Study
Fiedler, Leslie. “No! in Thunder.” In The Novel: Modern Essays in Criticism, edited by Robert Murray Davis. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969. In discussing authors from his point of view that “art is essentially a moral activity,” the controversial Fiedler accuses Hersey of being the author of “The Sentimental Liberal Protest Novel” who fights for “slots on the lists of best sellers” with his “ersatz morality.” The essay makes for lively reading at best.
Gutman, Israel. Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
Huse, Nancy L. The Survival Tales of John Hersey. New York: Whitston, 1983. An eminently readable and informed study on Hersey that is useful in understanding the scope and development of Hersey as a writer. Explores the relationship between art and moral or political intentions. Includes extensive notes and a bibliography.
Kassow, Samuel D. Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.
Sanders, David. “John Hersey.” In Contemporary Novelists, edited by James Vinson. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982. Covers Hersey’s work from wartime journalist to novelist. Cites The Wall as his greatest novel and considers him the “least biographical of authors.” A rather dense study but helpful in quickly establishing themes in Hersey’s writings. A chronology and a bibliography are provided.
Sanders, David. John Hersey Revisited. Boston: Twayne, 1991. A revised edition of Sanders’s 1967 study. The first chapter introduces Hersey’s career as reporter and novelist, and subsequent chapters discuss his major fiction and nonfiction, including his later stories. Includes chronology, notes, and bibliography.
Sanders, David. “John Hersey: War Correspondent into Novelist.” In New Voices in American Studies, edited by Ray B. Browne, Donald M. Winkelman, and Allen Hayman. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1966. A well-known scholar on Hersey, Sanders defends him and insists that he should not be dismissed because of his popularity. Traces Hersey’s origins as a war correspondent and the writings that emerged from these experiences. Finally, Sanders settles the dispute as to whether Hersey is a novelist and hails him as a “writer.”