It's in the Cards

'Kalooki Nights' illuminates the prejudices and hate roiling under the surface of British society Howard Jacobson claims that his ninth book, "Kalooki Nights," is the most Jewish novel ever published. It's an audacious claim, made to reflect the spirit of this sprawling, very funny, chaotic novel. Often dubbed the "British Philip Roth," Jacobson has not attained the literary status in his native England that Roth has achieved in American letters. A critic in the Guardian adroitly observed that Anglo-Jewish writers of Jacobson's generation who specifically address Jewish themes "can't help but envy American Jews for the centrality they occupy in North American culture." Like his American counterparts, male novelists in mid-century America, Jacobson's portrayal of the tension surrounding Judaism in England, as an absurd cultural phenomenon and a puzzling set of old world rituals, is both biting satire and astute social commentary. The artful balance that Jacobson has struck between the two perspectives earned him the 2000 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing and the 2000 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction for his autobiographical novel "The Might Waltzer." For full story please subscribe to The Jerusalem Report click here to subscribe.