For Fans of Chabon and/or the Yiddish Speaking 5-O

April 11, 2007

It’s been so long since I heard about the book (and so long since I’ve heard anyone talk about it), that I’d completely forgotten that Michael Chabon was writing a novel about a Jewish settlement in Alaska, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. Not only that, after being delayed over a year, it’s being released next month. I was actually a bit worried that the book would become my second-favorite unpublished, unfinished Chabon novel, behind Fountain City (link is to the first chapter), the story of a quest to build a beautiful, baseball only ballpark (at the time that seemed gauche). Chabon eventually abandoned the project and, in an act of catharsis, wrote Wonder Boys instead.
I haven’t really enjoyed a Chabon book since K&K–and I especially disliked The Final Solution–but I’m eagerly awaiting this one. I’m also hoping I get a chance to read it; I still haven’t read more than 50 pages of Against the Day (“kegen dem Tog,” for those who prefer to read the Yiddish original). Between the new Chabon, Philip Roth’s upcoming Nathan Zuckerman swan-song Exit Ghost, Murakami’s After Dark, and Yesterday’s Salad’s own (shepicksyournose) J.K. Rowling’s new school boy yarn, there’s a lot to look forward to in the literary world. But sadly, until someone publishes the collected works of JT, the world has no chance at reification.

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