Allison Amend’s most recent novel, “A Nearly Perfect Copy,” is now available. Allison was a finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her novel “Stations West.” Her blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
People ask me how much research I had to do on art forgery for my new book “A Nearly Perfect Copy.” The answer is: a lot. Some of it was even necessary. Some of it was just procrastination.
To that end, I wandered into the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris on one hot day, more in search of a bathroom than in search of wisdom. But, reader I found both (and if you’ve been to Paris, you know how valuable a quality public bathroom is).
The exhibits were what you’d expect (Sephardic artifacts, Vichy government deportation narratives, synagogue records, suitcases — Jewish museums always have a lot of suitcases…), but the true gem here is the library. It’s small but comprehensive, and the librarian was exceedingly helpful when I asked for information
I’m not sure I found anything I couldn’t have found in other English language archives, but this pleasant air conditioned afternoon in a quiet and free study space made me think of two things.