Sunday, June 17, 2007

'My Holocaust'

New York Times:

To the Editor:

Below is a letter I've written in response to the review of my novel, ''My Holocaust'' (May 27). The letter is written in the voice of one of the minor characters in the novel, Lipman Krakowski, who sees himself, among other things, as a veteran letters-to-the-editor writer. I believe the review was wrongheaded and surprisingly ad hominem, reflected no understanding of either fiction or satire, was strikingly at odds with the many other very positive reviews that have appeared, and left your readers with a deeply and relentlessly distorted impression of my book.Tova Reich

Chevy Chase, Md.

Esteemed Mr. Editor:

Maybe you remember from Mrs. Tova Reich's hoo-hah novel, ''My Holocaust,'' how my dear friend and fellow survivor of the Shoah, Mrs. Henny Soskis, mentioned that I'm a professional letters-to-the-editor writer, with already 3,467 published letters to my credit. The authoress Mrs. Tova Reich has turned to me because of my credentials to write this letter. Mrs. Tova Reich is not so young and beautiful anymore, so there's nothing in this for me, but that review you printed (May 27) was such schlock that I've agreed to dictate this letter of protest. The authoress herself has promised to write it down word for word.

You should excuse me, Mr. Editor, but where did you find this reviewer of yours? Does he know something from fiction writing? The credits say he knows from Joe Louis -- so is he some kind of boxer maybe? I myself am an experienced weightlifter and still in very good shape, as Mrs. Tova Reich was kind enough to remark in her book, so I don't need this boxer of yours to defend me or any of my fellow survivors, thank you very much. And what's this business of saying to such a respectable lady like the authoress Mrs. Tova Reich that she has ''chutzpah'' for how she writes about us survivors? For this I came to America? To hear some little Jewish ayatollah boxer deliver a little Jewish fatwa against a writer, telling her what she can and cannot write because of how it looks to the goyim?

For your information, the authoress Mrs. Tova Reich has known Shoah survivors all her life. We are not saints. We are people to whom a terrible thing happened. Excuse me, but I don't want my claim to fame to be that someone tried to exterminate me. Anyone with half a brain is sick and tired of all this ''sacred'' talk and victim idolatry at the expense of the dead. I'm sorry to inform you, Mr. Editor, but this boxer you dug up from I-don't-know-where to review my book is just another uncomprehending little knee-jerk. (My old friend Mrs. Henn'sche Soskis -- a charming lady in her own right, who, by the way, is proud of every one of her 220 pounds no matter what your boxer thinks -- tells me I shouldn't call it ''my'' book, but I feel like it's mine; I feel like it dares to tell it like it is for all of us who have been bullied and silenced by all those self-righteous machers and exploiters of the memory of the real victims, may they finally be allowed to rest in peace.)

Lipman Krakowski
Wheaton, Md.

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