The 12 New (Jewish) Books For Summer

In Which We Surf a Wave of Forthcoming Literature

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By Julia M. Klein

Published May 28, 2013, issue of June 07, 2013.
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● Freud’s Mistress
By Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $25, 368 pages
Out July 9

It’s officially a trend: Several recent novels, including “Loving Frank,” “The Paris Wife” and “Z,” have offered fictional versions of doomed real-life romances involving creative types besotted by women or drink or both. In “Freud’s Mistress,” co-authors Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman take the conceit a half-step further, fleshing out recently discovered (but still disputed) evidence of a liaison between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays. The setting is fin-de-siècle Vienna, a place of high intellectual ferment where Freud pioneered his theories about sexuality and the unconscious mind.

● The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
By Adelle Waldman
Henry Holt & Co., $25, 256 pages Out July 16

Brooklyn-based Adelle Waldman’s debut novel follows the adventures of a rising young Brooklyn literary star as he stumbles from conquest to conquest. A satire of both the contemporary literary scene and the contemporary male mind, this novel may be one you hate to love, or love to hate.

● Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
By Peter Orner
Little, Brown and Co., $25, 224 pages
Out August 6

This is the second short-story collection by the novelist Peter Orner, with memories and the importance of storytelling as themes. Orner’s work has been compared with Saul Bellow’s (in part for its Chicago settings), and The New York Times called Orner “the publishing equivalent of a character actor,” someone who is revered by industry insiders and deserves to be better known.

● Margot
By Jillian Cantor
Riverhead Books, $16, 352 pages
Out September 3

What if Anne Frank’s elder sister, Margot, hadn’t died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp? What if she had instead escaped to Philadelphia, become a legal secretary and assumed the name Margie Franklin to cloak her Jewish identity and European roots? That’s the intriguing counterfactual premise of Jillian Cantor’s novel, “Margot,” in which the growing popularity of Anne Frank’s diary obliges the novel’s eponymous protagonist to confront her past.


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