The latest addition to my website is Shalom Auslander‘s Hope: A Tragedy, one of the funniest books I have read in a long while. It is very politically incorrect, featuring a still alive but smelly and cantankerous Anne Frank, struggling to write a novel, a Jewish man whose fatal flaw is hope, his mother who spends her life bemoaning her fate as a Holocaust victim, despite the fact that she was born in Brooklyn in 1945 and, like all her close relatives, never went anywhere near Europe, and an arsonist. Solomon Kugel joins the list of literary Jewish heroes who struggle with life and with mothers.
This article by Shalom Auslander has to be the funniest take on book prizes I have seen. His story – Harley was our dog. She is dead now. I want to get a cat. is, of course, sheer brilliance. As Auslander says it contains sadness and rage and pain and even, yes, in the very last sentence, a flicker of hope for the future. I have not come across Shalom Auslander but I shall certainly read his novel Hope in the not too distant future. He is definitely a writer to look out for.