From Publishers Weekly
The lives of a young Jewish man in the 1930s and a young Czech woman in the 1980s echo across generations in Mansbach's (Angry Black White Boy) continuing investigations into ethnic identity. Tristan Brodsky, the son of New York Jewish immigrant parents, is introduced to pre-WWII jazz and African-American culture by a City College professor who mentors him into a mostly successful, though often controversial, career as a novelist. Tristan's grandson and namesake, known as Tris, is a suburban teen in thrall to hip-hop culture who becomes a novelist himself. (Tris's writerly angst provides some of the funniest scenes in the book.) Then there's Nina Hricek, a talented young Czech photographer who is all but adopted by a touring American jazz group passing through Prague: the black band members affectionately dub her Pigfoot and insist that she must be part Creole. Nina becomes a sort of apprentice to the group's tour photographer. One night, when covering a gig at New York's Blue Note, she locks eyes with a man working at the club—Tris. Mansbach moves effortlessly between U.S. jazz clubs of different eras and Communist Prague, and his dialogue rings true. Believably eccentric characters and an inventive cross-generational plot make this novel of immigration's vicissitudes a delight. (Mar.)
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Praise for The End of the Jews
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“Painfully honest, compassionately cognizant of human frailty and complexity, alive to the magic of creativity yet aware of its consequences–very exciting fiction indeed.”
–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Lyrical, brave, and moving, The End of the Jews is further proof of Adam Mansbach’s formidable talent. The inner lives of artists are laid bare, generation after generation grappling with identity, selfishness, and love. At every turn, The End of the Jews is startling in its honesty. This novel is not to be missed."
- Daniel Alarcón, author of Lost City Radio
"A writer bold enough for these times, Adam Mansbach delivers an amazing portrait of love, betrayal, despair and the surviving power of the human spirit. I enjoyed it immensely.”
- Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip Hop Generation
"Adam Mansbach is a true talent, a Nathan Englander-meets-Gary Shteyngart kind of talent, and his new book is a masterwork of the Jewish arts of humor and sadness."
-Darin Strauss, bestselling author of Chang and Eng
"As Czeslaw Milosz famously said, 'When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished,' but Adam Mansbach takes this notion to new extremes in this smart, moving novel. The Jews of The End of the Jews are sometimes tough, sometimes nerdy, sometimes needy and sometimes Czech, but they are always fascinating, and their quests to reconcile personal ambition and collective identity make for scorching drama."
-Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land
Mansbach moves effortlessly between U.S. jazz clubs of different eras and Communist Prague, and his dialogue rings true. Believably eccentric characters and an inventive cross-generational plot makes this novel of immigrations vicissitudes a delight.
“When I hear the words multigenerational Jewish epic, I reach for my yarmulke. But Mansbach sees something else here, and his novel about the
long, complex history of Jews and blacks in this country makes for much tougher and less gooey reading than we are used to. And it makes the
generation of our grandfathers--and our own generation--seem a lot less saintly and gooey as well. I don't love us any less, and neither does
Mansbach, but I know us better now for what we are. This is a heartfelt, truthful book.”
-Keith Gessen, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men
“Few writers tackle a story with as much sheer vigor as Adam Mansbach. Replete with sorrow, humor, and furious energy, The End of the Jews is an unflinching novel of hard truth.”
–Peter Orner, author of Esther Stories
“Mansbach’s prose is a pleasure to read. Witty, gritty, often melodic, it rolls unapologetically through a well-sustained balance of crass and polished, real and imaginary, dramatic and humorous. The characters are round, rich, complex, and intense…As a provocative, masterly written exploration of cultural identity, it rightfully earns itself a place on shelves and coffee tables worldwide.”