Author Herman Wouk Dies at 103

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20 May 2019

Bestselling author Herman Wouk, whose career spanned nearly seven decades, has passed away at the age of 103. Wouk was the author of two dozen novels and works of nonfiction, including The Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar, both of which were also adapted for the screen.

Unusual for a writer of Wouk’s celebrity was his status as an Orthodox Jew, working Jewish religious practices into his writing. A 1955 article in Time magazine described Wouk’s blend of worldly success and Jewish religious observance as paradoxical.

At the time, Wouk’s fame was an incredible accomplishment for an Orthodox Jew. While other Jewish novelists tended to portray religious Judaism as foreign and exotic, Wouk made Jewish religious observance appear mainstream. For example, scenes of a Passover seder and a bar mitzvah service were portrayed as a normal part of middle-class American life in Marjorie Morningstar.

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