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Literary Craftsman

The Many Legacies of Elie Wiesel Previous Learning Alongside His Students Next

Elie Wiesel was a prolific author. He wrote more than 50 works of fiction and nonfiction, including essays, memoirs, novels, and plays. He first became interested in journalism while studying in Paris in the late 1940s. He traveled around the world as a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. In 1954, Wiesel took on the challenge of writing about his experiences during the Holocaust. 

He first wrote a nearly 900-page manuscript in Yiddish, a shortened version of which was published in 1956. Soon thereafter he edited and translated the Yiddish memoir into French, and it was published under the title La Nuit in 1958. The English translation, Night, appeared in 1960. The memoir has since been translated into more than 30 languages, is widely taught to students around the world, and is considered a bedrock of Holocaust literature.

Wiesel was committed to bringing to life the stories of the observant Hasidic Jewish tradition in which he grew up. He published many essays on the great figures of the biblical, rabbinic, and Hasidic traditions.

Most of Wiesel’s writing was originally published in other languages. See a bibliography of his works written in or translated into English.