The Netanyahus, by Joshua Cohen
Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction!
Corbin College, not quite upstate New York, winter 1959–1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian—but not an historian of the Jews—is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with nonfiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.
Praise for The Netanyahus
"Absorbing, delightful, hilarious, breathtaking and the best and most relevant novel I’ve read in what feels like forever." —Taffy Brodesser-Akner, The New York Times Book Review
"Riffing freely on a true story, this brilliant and hilarious new book takes a cozily familiar form, the campus novel, and turns it into a slyly oblique fable about history, identity and the conflicted heart of Jewishness, especially in America." —John Powers, Fresh Air
"With [The Netanyahus] Cohen proves himself not just America’s most perceptive and imaginative Jewish novelist, but one of its best novelists full stop." —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"With its tight time frame, loopy narrator, portrait of Jewish-American life against a semi-rural backdrop, and moments of cruel academic satire, The Netanyahus reads like an attempt, as delightful as it sounds, to cross-breed Roth’s The Ghost Writer and Nabokov’s Pale Fire." —Leo Robson, The Guardian