France’s Frédéric Chouraki is one of Europe’s most frivolous and insouciant young Jewish novelists. Chouraki’s 2008 “Ginsberg and Me” (“Ginsberg et moi”), from Les Éditions du Seuil, is a fictional jape about Simon Glückmann, an observant young French Jew who meets and seduces the elderly American poet Allen Ginsberg in a Paris gay sauna. Hijinks ensue, with Ginsberg depicted in the unflattering guise, as one reviewer put it, of a “libidinous old goat.”
Chouraki’s equally irreverent new novel, “The Kippur Conflict,” (“La Guerre de Kippour”) has just appeared from Editions le Dilettante, a small literary press which explains that the author, born in 1972, is “keen on women’s tennis, Jewish mysticism, and Anglo-Saxon literature.”
Chouraki’s novel has nothing to do with Israel’s tragic 1973 Yom Kippur War, but alludes instead to the well-known phenomenon of “Kippur Jews” — unobservant people who go to synagogue only once a year, on Yom Kippur. Chouraki’s mordant satire describes the family strife caused when a bisexual young French Jew, Frédéric Bronstein, brings his non-Jewish girlfriend home to meet his parents in the Paris suburbs.