Sholem Asch, born Szalom Asz (Yiddish: שלום אַש), also written Shalom Asch (November 1, 1880 - July 10, 1957) was a Polish-born American Jewish novelist, dramatist, and essayist in the Yiddish language.
Asch was born in Kutno, Poland, one of ten children of Moszek Asz (1825 Gabin-1905 Kutno), a cattle-dealer and innkeeper, and Frajda Malka, née Widawska (1850 Łęczyca), and received a traditional Jewish education; as a young man he followed that with a more liberal education obtained at Włocławek, where he supported himself as a letter writer for the illiterate Jewish townspeople. From there he moved to Warsaw, where he met and married Mathilde Shapiro, the daughter of the Polish-Jewish writer, M.M. Shapiro. Influenced by the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), initially Asch wrote in Hebrew, but I.L. Peretz convinced him to switch to Yiddish.
He traveled to Palestine in 1908 and the U.S. in 1910. He sat out World War I in the U.S. where he became a naturalized citizen in 1920. He returned to Poland. He later moved to France, visited Palestine again in 1936, and settled in the U.S. in 1938.