My Holocaust

Tova Reich, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (326p) ISBN 978-0-06-117345-5

In this savage satire of Holocaust commemoration's misuses, Reich paints and pillories a culture of victimhood that, with its accompanying commemorative kitsch, all but eclipses the actual victims. Novelist Reich (The Jewish War ) sketches a gallery of "Holocaust hangers-on," grotesques eager to hijack the Shoah for tawdry commercial and ideological purposes. Presiding over the strategic exploitation is Maurice Messer, a retired ladies' undergarment maker who has parlayed inflated claims of being an anti-Nazi partisan into the chairmanship of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; his feckless son, Norman, president of Holocaust Connections Inc., a brand consultancy with the motto "Make Your Cause a Holocaust" (of which Maurice is board chairman); Norman's daughter, Nechama, who has embarrassingly run off to join the convent across the street from Auschwitz; and Maurice's right-hand man, Monty Pincus, who expertly deploys melancholy over the six million to seduce women. Once the idea of the "Chinese Holocaust" (the "rape" of Nanking) or the "Native American Holocaust" gain traction, however, Maurice and Norman may not be able to control the results. Whether Maurice and Norman are rebranding "mountains of shorn hair" from Auschwitz for "an anti-fur organization eager to firm up its Holocaust status" or schmoozing ecumenically with a Holocaust-denying Arab terrorist, Reich's satire is broad, scabrous, cynical, over-the-top, often hilarious—and likely to cause a scandal. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 336 pages - 978-0-06-128502-8
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-128515-8
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-0-06-117347-9
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