On November 9, we woke up in a Red State. Could it really be? Before school I broke the news to my 12-year-old daughter, who was completely distraught. “If anyone gives you a hard time,” I offered, “let your teachers know.”
‘Halfway through dinner,” says the unnamed narrator of “Eight White Nights,” “I knew I’d replay the whole evening in reverse.” Thus begins André Aciman’s snow globe of a novel, which attempts to follow up on the success of his debut novel, “Call Me by Your Name” (Picador, 2008). In “Eight White Nights,” a young man of an uncertain age and background appears at a party on Christmas Eve at a luxury building at the corner of Riverside Drive and West 106th Street, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He’s come uninvited, a stranger to everyone — including himself. He doesn’t even know who is giving the party, but he is dazzled nonetheless by the bounty and wealth surrounding him, and seems to have stepped right into a fairy tale; only later does he discover that the hosts of the party are a wealthy couple called, fittingly, Hans and Gretel. Outside, a snowstorm is brewing, blanketing the streets and lending a magical and dreamlike quality to the city.
GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation By Deborah Dash Moore Harvard University Press, 368 pages, $25.95. * * *|Contemporary Jewish thought has been shaped by the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel and the transformation of the American Jewish community from a distant, peripheral outpost into the hub of the Jewish world.
Siegfried By Harry Mulisch, translated by Paul Vincent Viking Press, 180 pages, $22.95. ——-When galleys for the massive Stalin biography by Montefiore first made the rounds, I got hold of a copy for my father, thinking that the subject would interest him as a survivor of Auschwitz and a former Bundist. He’s read many, if not most,
Foiglman By Aharon Megged, translated by Marganit Weinberger-Rotman Toby Press, 277 pages, $19.95. * * *|For those readers acquainted with the torrent of novels, story collections, reportage and histories pouring out of Israel, it is hard not to be struck by the wrenching re-examination of the past that characterizes much of it. It is a
Tales of Grabowski By John Auerbach The Toby Press, 307 pages, $19.95.The Owl & Other Stories By John Auerbach The Toby Press, 306 pages, $19.95. * * *|although it’s common for critics to dismiss the link between an author’s biography and his fiction, novelists and storytellers well know that the ties between work and
Last week, A.B. Yehoshua sat down with the Forward to discuss “The Liberated Bride,” his ambitious new novel weaving together influences such as William Faulkner and S. Y. Agnon along with “One Thousand and One Nights” and “The Dybbuk.” A soft-spoken yet passionate speaker, with a shock of gray hair and lively,
Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments By Oz Shelach City Lights, 115 pages, $11.95. * * *| Had Ernest Hemingway succeeded in writing the novel suggested by the vignettes that punctuate “In Our Time,” the result might have resembled Oz Shelach’s “Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments.” The novel, Shelach’s first, is set in an
The Strange Case of Dr. Simmonds and Dr. Glas By Dannie Abse Carroll & Graf, 195 pages, $23 —–The double was a figure of great importance in 19th-century novels. From the literal-mindedness of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde to the genius of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s saints and sinners, novelists used the notion of duality to