At the beach and poolside in the Catskills holiday resorts popular with Jewish New Yorkers in the 1950s, along with the straw hats, suntan lotion and one-piece bathing suits, the novels of Herman Wouk reigned supreme. Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud may have received lavish praise from critics in the New York Times, but Wouk’s bestsellers easily outsold the work of every other Jewish writer in the Us.
Wouk, who has died aged 103, was an award-winning novelist whose books were made into Hollywood movies, a playwright and an author of screenplays. He wrote books about Judaism and modern belief. Throughout, he voiced a conservative view of ethics and morality that remained largely unamended in the course of a writing career of more than six decades.