Adam Thirlwell is the author of three novels, Politics, The Escape and Lurid & Cute; a novella, Kapow!; and a project with international novels that includes an essay-book – which won a Somerset Maugham Award – and a compendium of translations edited for McSweeney’s. His work is translated into 30 languages. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.
The history of Jewish novelists has been a history of emigration: of exile and translation. From Kafka to Italo Svevo, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Saul Bellow, Jewish novelists have often been marked by a cultural and linguistic cosmopolitanism. But what is the value of displacement? of memory? The director of Complicite who adapted Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles to the stage discussed these themes with Adam Thirlwell.
On half-Jews, non-jewish-Jews, self-hating Jews, anti-semitic Jews, et al…
Two of the most formidably minded polemicists on the literary scene discussed the many possible manifestations of Judaism and whether any of these semitic permutations actually matters.