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Friday, February 11, 2022

The Netanyahus - an academic novel

I am delighted to discover a new academic novel (sometimes referred to as a campus novel, but the academic novel is a subgenre of the campus novel - it is about the life (or perspective) of faculty, rather than students and the greater university community) - comic and original - The Netanyahus. I haven't finished it yet but happy to start a book club thread here. Blum, the narrator, is a particular kind of academic by the way: he writes about the history of tax, a compromise between his parents who wanted him to become an accountant and himself, who was drawn to literature. English became history, accounting became economics. 

from the publisher:

Corbin College, not quite upstate New York, winter 1959–1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian—but not an historian of the Jews—is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with nonfiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.


Posted by Orly Lobel on February 11, 2022 at 01:28 AM | Permalink


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