Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story (2010)
Some commentators, from the best of intentions, have assured readers that this is a good novel and not merely a good Jewish novel. But of course Super Sad True Love Story is a Jewish novel ---what white man could ever have written it? It is drenched in Jewish life, talk, attitude: it tells us how distant even the best of the whites are from the Jewish men that pass them on the streets; and it is written from a particular compound of emotions that no white man could possibly simulate. To deny that this is a Jewish novel is to deprive the Jews of their one basic right: the right to cry out their difference.