American Literature Series
Joshua Cohen

On Christmas Eve 1999, all the Jews in the world die in a strange, millennial plague, with the exception of the firstborn males, who are soon adopted by a cabal of powerful people in the American government. By the following Passover, however, only one is still alive: Benjamin Israelien; a kindly, innocent, ignorant man-child. As he finds himself transformed into an international superstar, Jewishness becomes all the rage: matzo-ball soup is in every bowl, sidelocks are hip; and the only truly Jewish Jew left is increasingly stigmatized for not being religious. Since his very existence exposes the illegitimacy of the newly converted, Israelien becomes the object of a worldwide hunt…

Meanwhile, in the not-too-distant future of our own, “real” world, another last Jew—the last living Holocaust survivor—sits alone in a snowbound Manhattan, providing a final melancholy witness to his experiences in the form of the punch lines to half-remembered jokes.

Joshua Cohen, born in 1980 in Somers Point, NJ, is one of the most ambitious young novelists in English.  Witz is his fourth novel; he’s also written four collections of stories, a book-length essay called Attention! (2013), and extensive criticism for Harper’sThe New York Times Book ReviewBookforumThe BelieverThe London Review of Books, and The Jewish Daily Forward.  He received a 2012 Pushcart Prize and the 2013 Matanel Prize in Jewish Literature.

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Publication: American Literature Series
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 824
ISBN-13: 9781564785886
GTIN13: 9781564785886
Publication date: 5/11/2010
Language: eng
List price: $18.95