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By Boris Fishman

A singularly proficient author makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and infrequently hilarious tale of a failed journalist requested to do the unthinkable: forge Holocaust-restitution claims for outdated Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.

Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, ''didn't undergo within the distinct way'' he must have suffered to qualify for the reparations the German govt has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. yet undergo he has—as a Jew within the struggle, as a second-class citizen within the USSR, as an immigrant in the USA. So? Isn't his grandson a ''writer''?

High-minded Slava desires to positioned all this immigrant-scraping in the back of him. purely the yankee dream isn't really panning out for him: Century, the mythical journal the place he works as a researcher, desires not anything larger from him. Slava desires to be an accurate, innocent American—but he desires to be a lionized author even more.

Slava's flip because the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that now not each truth is a fact and never each lie a falsehood. It takes greater than law-abiding to develop into an American; it takes a similar self-reinvention at which his humans excel. Intoxicated and unmoored via his innovations, Slava hazards publicity. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that eventually offers him a feeling of domestic in America—but now not ahead of accumulating a long-lasting expense from his family.

A substitute existence is a dismal, relocating, and fantastically written novel approximately relations, honor, and justice.

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The poet William Blake would have had nothing but scorn for this naïve misconception. What writers like Pullman do not see is that the liberal doctrine of freedom derives among other sources from the Christian notion of free will, rather as the liberal belief in progress has a distant resonance of Christian ideas of Providence. Ω Some Marxists are churlishly reluctant to acknowledge that Marx owes a good deal to the Judaic tradition; but why should they have such a low opinion of that lineage as to regard this claim as somehow devaluing his work?

It has broken faith with them, as it will break faith with anyone and anything that no longer yields it a profit. Yet if New Ageism is apolitical, Christian fundamentalism is antipolitical. It may be politically militant, but it is basically a form of culturalism, seeking to replace politics with religion. Much the same is true of Al Qaida. Nothing is more antipolitical than planting bombs in public places, even in the name of a political cause. ’’≤≠ As such, it belongs to an age in which culture betrays a worrying tendency to grow too big for its boots and confiscate the political altogether.

Instead, the good news is that God loves them anyway, in all their moral squalor. Jesus’s message is that God is on their side despite their viciousness—that the source of inexhaustibly selfdelighting life he calls his Father is neither judge, patriarch, accuser, nor superego, but lover, friend, fellow-accused, and counsel for the defense. ’’ Satan is a way of seeing God as a great big bully, which as we shall see in a moment is a peculiarly rewarding image of him. Men and women are called upon to do nothing apart from acknowledge the fact that God is on their side no matter what, in the act of loving assent which is known as faith.

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