I’ll be taking a bit of a break from blogging for Rosh Hashanah. Here’s wishing you all a very sweet and happy New Year.
(And if you happen to be looking for some reading ideas, check out my article on “Noteworthy Books for the New Year” in the Jewish Journal.)
In the new (fall) issue of the Jewish Review of Books, I respond to a piece published in the summer issue.
My response begins:
“As an avid reader of novels and short stories, and as the author of a story collection myself, I am always pleased to see fiction discussed within the JRB’s pages. But in the case of Amy Newman Smith’s “Killer Backdrop” (Summer 2014), my initial pleasure was tempered by an increasing sense of discomfort.
In part, the trouble stemmed from my difficulty understanding the exact focus of Ms. Smith’s opprobrium. Does she object to all “new works of Holocaust fiction” because they are not nonfiction? Fair enough. Some people don’t ascribe any value to Holocaust-related fiction; I am not among them. But are there any examples of Holocaust-related fiction that might meet with Ms. Smith’s approval? Novels by the late ArnoŠt Lustig? Cynthia Ozick’s now-classic “The Shawl”?”
You can find the rest of my response–plus the original article and Amy Newman Smith’s response-to-my-response–on the JRB website.