Additional Book Information

Series: New York Review Books
ISBN: 9781681376073
Pages: 240
Publication Date: June 22, 2021

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

by Joshua Cohen

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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.


Praise

No one writing in English today is more gifted than Joshua Cohen. Every page of The Netanyahus—an historical account of a man left out of history, a wickedly funny fable of the return of the repressed—crackles with Cohen’s high style and joyride intelligence.
—Nicole Krauss

The Netanyahus is constructed with a brilliant comic grace that moves from the sly to the exuberant. Some scenes are funny beyond belief. But even when moments in the book are sharp or melancholy, they keep an undertone of witty and ironic observation. The vision in this book is deeply original, making clear what a superb writer Joshua Cohen is.
—Colm Tóibín

A domestic sitcom farce, a ferocious academic sendup. And also, in contrast to an entire generation of fastidious timidities (Doctorow, Mailer, et al.), a rousing lecture on Jewish history leading to Zionism. . . . The drive to quarrel with a character is only one of the delights of Cohen’s shrewd, exuberant, exhilarating and merry novel.
—Cynthia Ozick

Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious in American fiction today. . . . A crystalline novelist with a journalistic openness to the world.
—James Wood, The New Yorker

Cohen's writing is vibrant even when ruminating on esoteric details on Jewish identity theories. . . . This blistering portrait is great fun.
Publishers Weekly

Cohen’s new book is among his best: a fastidious and very funny book that is one of the most purely pleasurable works of fiction I’ve read in ages.
—Jon Day, Financial Times