Anyone who knows Shalom Auslander’s work knows he is haunted by the past — both his own personal past and the collective Jewish one. But for the sake of potential new readers, he is making this fact abundantly clear in the trailers he has made for his soon-to-be-released novel, “Hope: A Tragedy.”
In the trailers, Auslander gets Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell and John Hodgman to play along with him as he riffs on Holocaust guilt and anxiety (“I am a Holocaust survivor. I don’t mean personally. I mean I have survived people who talked about the Holocaust a lot as a kid,” he told New York Magazine in an interview about the trailers.) The clips are funny, but in that iconoclastic, cringe-inducing way that all of Auslander’s work is.