Milestones Aug. 5, 2002

DIED. CHAIM POTOK, 73, best-selling author of The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev, whose crystalline prose gave mainstream audiences a nuanced glimpse into the rarely seen world of religious Jews; of brain cancer; in Merion, Pa. Potok's novels repeatedly addressed the struggle between religious devotion and love for the secular world, a tension he experienced as the son of Orthodox Polish immigrants who deemed his work frivolous. Inspired by the writing of Evelyn Waugh and James Joyce, whom he read on the sly as a teenager, Potok, unlike religious skeptics Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, lovingly depicted the tight-knit,...

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