Jew Boy is Alan Kaufman's riveting memoir of being raised by a Jewish mother who survived the Holocaust. This pioneering masterpiece, the very first memoir of its kind by a member of the Second Generation is Kaufman's coming-of-age account, by turns hilarious and terrifying, written with irreverent humor and poetic introspection.
Throughout the course of his memoir, Kaufman touches on the pain, guilt, and confusion that shape the lives and characters of American-born children of Holocaust survivors. Kaufman struggles to comprehend what it means to be Jewish as he deals with the demons haunting his mother and attempts to escape his wretched home life by devoting himself to high school football. He eventually hitchhikes across the country, coming face-to-face with the phantoms he fled. Taking us from the streets of the Bronx to the highways of America, the kibbutzim and Israeli army to personal rebirth in San Francisco, and finally to a final reckoning in Germany, Jew Boy shines with the universal humanity of a brilliant writer embracing the gift of life. Kaufman's fierce passion will leave no reader untouched.
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Alan Kaufman is the author of the novel Matches and the memoir Drunken Angel and the editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.From Publishers Weekly:
"I experienced my first wet dream on a Sunday night after reading a Dick Tracy comic strip on the front page of the Sunday edition of the New York Daily News," writes poet Kaufman (Who Are We?)in this visceral memoir of how his Jewish identity has influenced his sexuality, writing and imagination. Indeed, for much of his journey to adulthood, self-acceptance and becoming an artist, the concepts of sex, writing and the imagination have been inseparable for Kaufman. Growing up in the Bronx with a deeply depressed mother who was a Holocaust survivor, Kaufman came to grips with his Jewish heritage in disquieting ways: he found himself sexually turned on by photos of German death camps, formed a clique in high school that jokingly called for "death to the Jews" and created "The Purple Jew," a comic book that featured a Jewish superhero even as Kaufman understood that "more than anything in the world, I wanted not to be Jewish." He is able to combine humor and pathos with a cold-blooded sense of irony in his chilling descriptions of uncovering his identityAwhether it is through going to a brothel to have sex for the first time ("I still felt like a virgin, only contaminated by paid-for sex") or remembering, as he terrorizes Palestinian children during a stint in the Israeli army, how his mother was captured by German soldiers ("I know it's not the same"). Frightening and deeply moving, Kaufman's memoir is a remarkable document. (Sept.)
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Book Description Fromm International Publishing Corporation 2001-09-01, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. 0880642750 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # POTM-0880642750