Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 12, 2012 - Fiction - 368 pages
5 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book 2012

The rural town of Stockton, New York, is famous for nothing: no one was born there, no one died there, nothing of any historical import at all has ever happened there, which is why Solomon Kugel, like other urbanites fleeing their pasts and histories, decided to move his wife and young son there.

To begin again. To start anew. But it isn’t quite working out that way for Kugel…

His ailing mother stubbornly holds on to life, and won’t stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she never actually suffered through. To complicate matters further, some lunatic is burning down farmhouses just like the one Kugel bought, and when, one night, he discovers history—a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history—hiding upstairs in his attic, bad quickly becomes worse.

Hope: A Tragedy is a hilarious and haunting examination of the burdens and abuse of history, propelled with unstoppable rhythm and filled with existential musings and mordant wit. It is a comic and compelling story of the hopeless longing to be free of those pasts that haunt our every present.


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Nice and funny.
Some amusing thoughts

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Shalom Auslander- (http://therumpus.net/2012/01/the-rumpus-original-combo-with-shalom-auslander/)
"Aristotle said that what separates man from animals is that we laugh. That, yes, and we also
ethnically cleanse. So now what? 2012, now fucking what? Hope? Maybe. Good luck with that. Give up and live in fear? That’s one way, sure. Stay in the attic? It’s possible, if UPS will deliver books and food. There’s nothing funny about brutality and suffering, except the part about it happening again and again. And the part about our saying it won’t. And the part about our shock and amazement when it does. Otherwise, nothing."
"...because the most difficult questions have no right or wrong (that’s what makes them funny): Kugel may be a fool for hoping, Mother may be right for living in fear, Anne may be right for never leaving attics. There is no answer, other than laughing at the whole damned thing."
"I think it’s a question of what is it you’re laughing at – suffering or man? Because man is funny. Hating someone isn’t funny, but hatred is. Hope is fucking hilarious."
"Well, it’s that old thing about sacred cows making the best burgers. I consider it part of the job to tread on hallowed ground."
The Holocaust just got roasted! :D

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About the author (2012)

Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Tablet, The New Yorker, and has had stories aired on NPR's This American Life. Auslander is the author of the short story collection Beware of God and the memoir Foreskin's Lament. He lives in New York City. To learn more about Shalom Auslander, please visit www.shalomauslander.com.

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