How much Holocaust can Shalom Auslander take?

Posted by Jason Diamond

I’m quite curious about Shalom Auslander’s forthcoming novel, Hope: A Tragedy (Riverhead)  I find some of Auslander’s stories hilarious, but others I’m not so sure about.  I’ve come to think that my trepidation stems from the fact that I think Auslander is doing a good job of deconstructing what I’ve heard refereed to as “Holocaust culture,” but then he situates it too comfortably next to his self-hating Jew schtick.  If I had to make a decision on the matter, I’d rather praise him for what he’s doing than what he’s doing wrong.  As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, there hasn’t been a day in my life when I wasn’t reminded of that disgusting event, but I prefer not to have it rammed down my throat.  I think that’s what Auslander’s getting at, and I can only commend him for such bold behavior.