Jewish Journal

Chabon on circumcision: ‘mutilation is the only honest name’

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 4, 2009 | 7:18 pm

Michael Chabon’s latest book, “Manhood for Amateurs,” is a memoir. And in it, the greatest Jewish author since Philip Roth makes a case to cut the circumcision tradition.

“Mutilation [is] the only honest name for this raw act that my wife and I have twice invited men with knives to come into our house and perform, in the presence of all our friends and family, with a nice buffet and Weekend Cake from Just Desserts,” Chabon writes in his memoir, “Manhood for Amateurs,” out in October from Harper. “We have been through all of the standard arguments—hygiene, cancer prevention, psychological fitness, the Zero Mostel tradition . . . and found they are all debatable at best.”

In the above video, watch my conversation with Chabon about “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” and accusations that he was—no joke—an anti-Semite.

In previous circumcision news: “Circumcision wars: Christians opt for Jewish bris” and “Holy adult circumcision, Abraham!

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