Polish journalist Hanna Krall's "The Woman From Hamburg: And Other True Stories" (Other Press, $19) is based on interviews she did that in some way involved the Holocaust. But when one of the 12 stories was recently featured in The New Yorker's fiction issue, an accompanying note explained that her writing is indeed factual.
The 60-something Krall was a reporter for Polityka from 1957 to 1981 when martial law was imposed and her publications were banned. Her award-winning books have been translated into 15 languages, (the English version is by Madeline G. Levine). Yet the boundary between fact and fiction can seem blurred in her work, for Krall writes in an unadorned but intimate style, moving in fractured time, creating a rhythm that might resemble contemporary fiction.
Does edgy Jewish humor translate? The New York-based magazine Heeb is coming to England -- but whether the United Kingdom's rather reserved Jewish population will appreciate the magazine's offbeat urban style remains to be seen.
The magazine's British launch was held recently at a plush theater in north London during a Jewish film festival, organized in association with the Jewish Community Centre for London.
For Robert Anthony Siegel,April is indeed the cruelest month.Siegel's first novel came out in April -- that was kind. But so did novels by Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. That was very,very cruel.
As book reviewers wrote fevered mini-tomes, dissecting the latest works by the greats, and publishing-house publicity budgets emptied to push Saints Norm, Saul and Phil, Siegel's exceptionally funny and entertaining novel, "All the Money In the World," received zero attention.