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The Netanyahus

The Netanyahus : An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family

Author Joshua Cohen
Publisher New York Review of Books
Publication Date 2021-06-22
Section Fiction
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781681376073

A job interview goes awry for the exiled patriarch of Israel's First Family in this riotous novel from one of contemporary fiction's most brilliant and audacious writers.

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 non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics—“An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family” that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.

Series Overview:

  • Cohen has been called “a major American writer” by The New York Times, “maybe America’s greatest living writer” by The Washington Post, and “an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious at work in American fiction today” by The New Yorker.
  • Cohen was awarded Israel’s 2013 Matanel Prize for Jewish Writers, and in 2017 was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. 
  • The book is a fictionalized retelling of Harold Bloom's encounter with the Netanyahu family. The Netanyahus are, to say the least, a controversial family in American and worldwide politics, and the name recognition alone will attract attention to the book, though the book also sheds light on Bloom's character and the character of the Netanyahus.
  • Will appeal to readers of literary fiction that engages with history and with real-world figures and events.
  • Cohen lives in New York and will be available for interviews and events.
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