novel

Amis Moves Needle On Holocaust Humor

New novel, set in a concentration camp, is latest in cultural trend to probe Shoah with satire.

09/29/2014
Staff Writer
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In a German concentration camp, the commandant and an officer of the Waffen-SS, the armed wing of the Nazis’ SS paramilitary unit, are discussing the “selection” of Jewish prisoners to live or die. “There was no selection. They were all certainties for the gas,” one Nazi tells the other.

Amis

The Novel As Archive

Dara Horn delves into the nature of remembrance, and how it ‘affects our choices for the future,’ in ‘A Guide for the Perplexed.’

10/16/2013
Jewish Week Book Critic
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Dara Horn’s latest novel is propelled forward by ideas about preserving the past, over three different eras. “A Guide for the Perplexed” (Norton) is set in present-day California and Egypt, late-19th-century Cambridge and Cairo, and further back, in 12th-century Cairo. With great skill and originality, she layers stories of a software developer who invents a program called “Genizah” for recording a life, Solomon Schechter’s discovery of the Cairo Genizah, and the life of Moses Maimonides, or the Rambam.

Horn of plenty: Her new book travels from Cairo to California.

Obama Reads Israel: David Grossman's "To the End of the Land" and the Politics of a President's Reading List

This week brought news that Obama is reading David Grossman's novel "To the End of the Land" while summering on Martha's Vineyard.  It was one of the best reviewed book's last year, and that it focuses on an Israeli mother whose son is killed in yet another Arab war, is probably lost on no one. Certainly not Jews.

You Can Take A Boy Out Of The ‘Hood…

No novel has mined Philadelphia’s Jewish working class as powerfully as ‘Rich Boy.’

03/22/2011
Jewish Week Book Critic

Robert Vishniak grew up on a Northeast Philadelphia street lined with identical narrow row houses, with clotheslines laced between them, canvas work shirts flapping in the wind. It was part of the Oxford Circle neighborhood of Sharon Pomerantz’s first novel “Rich Boy” (Twelve), which was crowded with Vishniak relatives and others who kept few secrets. Robert’s father shuttled between two jobs, as a postal worker and security guard; his mother ferried school kids to safety as a crossing guard; and Robert determined to have a very different life.

Pomerantz’s first novel.
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