In December, I met Hermione Hoby to discuss her debut novel at Milk and Roses, a book-lined Greenpoint café that is the sort of place aspiring artists and intellectuals move to New York with dreams of finding and that usually does not last much longer than does a blazing revelation. (Though let us hope the gods of real estate spare Milk and Roses.)
Paul Goldberg’s excellent first novel, The Yid, invented an assassination plot against Joseph Stalin in late February of 1953, to stop a genocide that Stalin may have been planning against the Soviet Jews who had not been murdered by Hitler.
This propulsive and playful book, Hysteriawhich is reminiscent of the work of Philip Roth and the feverish novellas of Elena Ferrantedemands to be read in one sitting. I read it one night at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown.
There is more to the phrase here we are than its lack of varnish. It addresses the question that hovers over this memoir and over most of Roths workof how to face death when one believes that there is no life after death, when the atheists booth looks so sad.