Testimony: Contmpry Wrtrs Make

David Rosenberg, Editor Crown Publishers $24.95 (511p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1817-5
In this sequel to Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible , Rosenberg asks 26 notables when they first learned of the Holocaust, how it shaped their careers and other questions. In a keen essay, Phillip Lopate censures what he sees as the Jewish preoccupation with the Holocaust to the exclusion of other human and even other Jewish disasters. Lore Segal fled Austria and lived with five different English families in eight years; the Holocaust drew black American Julius Lester and German Susanne Schlotelburg to Judaism. Unfortunately, many pieces are labored, fragmented and self-indulgent, banal or romanticized trivializations, with the nadir being Gordon Lish: ``Yes, I am being paid for this. Yes, I am glad I am being paid for this. No, I did not say that I did not want to be paid for this. No, I did not say go give instead what you are paying to me to somebody who really paid with his bones for this.'' First serial to Esquire, Tikkun and Partisan Review; Jewish Book Club selection. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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