Leaving Other People Alone

Diaspora, Zionism, and Palestine in Contemporary Jewish Fiction

Leaving Other People Alone reads contemporary North American Jewish fiction about Israel/Palestine through an anti-Zionist, diasporic lens. Aaron Kreuter argues that since Jewish diasporic fiction played a major role in establishing the centroperipheral relationship between Israel and the diaspora, it therefore also has the potential to challenge, trouble, and ultimately rework this relationship. Kreuter suggests that any fictional work that concerns itself with Israel/Palestine and Zionism comes with heightened responsibilities, primarily to make narrative space for the Palestinian worldview, the dispossessed other of the Zionist project. In engaging prose, the book features a wide range of scholarship and new, compelling readings of texts by Theodor Herzl, Leon Uris, Philip Roth, Ayelet Tsabari, and David Bezmozgis. Throughout the book, Kreuter develops his concept of diasporic heteroglossia, which is fiction’s unique ability to contain multiple, diasporic voices that resist and write back against national centres. This work makes an important and original contribution to Jewish studies, diaspora studies, and world literatures.


Leaving Other People Alone, is without a doubt, the most morally imaginative and critically compelling exploration of the Jewish literary soul to come along in many years. Through eloquent and genuinely exciting close readings, Kreuter offers brilliant new approaches to considering indigeneity, diasporic identities and related forms of conflicted belonging. His highly original formulation of “diasporic heteroglossia,” a bold conceptual approach to the ethics of repudiating territorialism, offers the kind of rare paradigm that truly transforms the conversation and will likely provoke and inspire scholars in Jewish Studies and well beyond for years to come.”
Ranen Omer-Sherman, author of Amos Oz: Legacy of a Writer

“Aaron Kreuter incorporates a wide range of scholarly work and historically contextualizes the spaces under discussion. Leaving Other People Alone is an important book.”
Brett Ashley Kaplan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“One of the key questions Aaron Krueter asks in Leaving Other People Alone is what the books and authors studied reveal about the relationship between the Jewish diaspora, Israel, Zionism, and the ethical potential of diaspora.”
Isabelle Hesse, University of Sydney