Julian Treslove, a radio producer, and Samuel Finkler, a Jewish philosopher, have been friends since childhood and, as they enter middle age, they reminisce over their struggles with self-identity, anti-Semitism, women, love, and the past.
Literary critics have called him the British Philip Roth, but Howard Jacobson prefers to think of himself as a "Jewish Jane Austen." His books are renowned for their biting social commentary — and his Booker prize-winning novel, The Finkler Question, is no exception.
This week's paperbacks take on big questions: what it means to be Jewish; how a woman disfigured by polio became an iconic photographer; how medicine is blurring the boundary between life and death; and what we can do to improve America's schools.
The hero of this year's Booker Prize winner, The Finkler Question, is a non-Jew fascinated by Jewishness. For writer David Sax, these efforts to simulate Judaism — to take on a persona outside of one's own — offer a broader commentary on human experience.