Tova Reich’s novel My Holocaust has been rapturously praised by most critics, but as I mentioned here and elsewhere I was bitterly disappointed by it. And now I have some company.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review this weekend, David Margolick was similarly disturbed by Reich’s wayward satire.
Sure, it can seem that ghoulish Holocaust commemoration has become the core of Jewish observance nowadays. Sure, some of those commemorators can be crass. Sure, some Jews have paraded their suffering before the world, insisting it is unique. Sure, much of it is ripe for ridicule, and ridicule can purify. But when the near annihilation of a culture is at issue, itâ€™s hard to pull off; even Cynthia Ozick hasnâ€™t tried. And if you manage to, so what? Ultimately, Reichâ€™s obsessions are not just unseemly but picayune, and â€œMy Holocaustâ€? is far more likely to infuriate or distract than to cleanse.