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Grossman Makes Obama’s Summer Reading List

A few more suggestions

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President Obama exits the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on the Vineyard.(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Among the books President Obama has taken to read during his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard is David Grossman’s novel To the End of the Land. Daphne Merkin reviewed it for Tablet Magazine; Liel Leibovitz took issue with Grossman and other prominent left-wing Israeli novelists; Grossman himself wrote about his literary influences in, Tablet Magazine’s predecessor; and I discussed George Packer’s profile of Grossman.

Which other novels by Jews should the president read?

Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story. Because Obama’s main job is to “win the future,” he should probably have a sense of what a future that he has lost looks like, and this bitter, dystopic novel will provide it. Plus, it can’t hurt Obama with the Russian vote.

Amy Waldman’s The Submission. This hot new novel imagines that the winning design for the 9/11 memorial turns out to have been the work of a Muslim-American. So, um, it would seem relevant.

Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night. Okay, so this is technically “history as a novel” and “the novel as history,” but still, Mailer’s depiction of the fully fractured society of the late ‘60s is what Obama should be shooting not to have happen on his watch.

Franz Kafka’s Amerika. For an, er, different perspective on the country he leads.

Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. If one of the United States is going to become the Jewish national homeland, Obama should probably be kept aware.

Philip Roth’s The Human Stain. “I myself dreamed of a mammoth banner, dadaistically draped like a Christo wrapping from one end of the White House to the other and bearing the legend A HUMAN BEING LIVES HERE.”

Obama Takes Along Novel by David Grossman on Vacation [JPost]
Related: Consolation Prize [Tablet Magazine]
Pen Pals [Tablet Magazine]
Books That Have Read Me []
The Unconsoled [The New Yorker]
Earlier: The Tailor David Grossman

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jacob arnon says:

If he is going to read a novel by Grossman he should read “See Under Love” or
The Book of Intimate Grammar” and not the overrated “To the end of the land” whose title in Hebrew is “A woman running away from the News.”

Bill Pearlman says:

Intersting post over at “mondofront” Over there Grossman is an object of insults and derision by Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job ) Weiss and his merry band

Jacob.arnon says:

Well, whatever Herr Weiss says you can be sure the opposite is true.

I am one of the few people I know who actually finished To The End of the Land. I was making an aesthetic and not a political judgment about the novel.

I consider Grossman to be one of the top writers in a country that boasts some of the greatest novelist in the world today.

Someone should tell Obama that Grossman has also written a few very moving and funny children’s books that he might want to read to his children. However, alas, they haven’t been translated yet as far as I know.

Itamar Walks on Walls , Am Oved, 1986 [Itamar Metayel Al Ha-Kirot]

Itamar and the Magic Black Hat, Am Oved, 1992 [Itamar Ve-Kova Ha-Ksamim Ha-Shahor]

The Itamar Letter , Am Oved, 1986 [Itamar Michtav]

Itamar Meets a Rabbit , Am Oved, 1988 [Itamar Pogesh Arnav]

Itamar the Dream Hunter , Am Oved, 1990 [Itamar Tzayad Halomot]


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Grossman Makes Obama’s Summer Reading List

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