“Did I say I was Jewish? I should be Jewish all of a sudden?”
Argumentative, Yiddish-speaking 80-year-old Jack Silver has reluctantly returned to Golders Green to care for his 10-year-old grandson, Danny.
Unpredictable and outspoken but warm-hearted, Jack is resolutely secular and repudiates everything Jewish.
His profoundly troubled son, a successful journalist, has followed in his footsteps, while the brilliant young Danny has been kept in ignorance of his Jewish heritage.
When Jack is beaten up by an antisemitic gang, it changes everything. He and Danny secretly set out to outwit and track down the thugs and bring them to justice.
The hunt takes Jack into memories of his own childhood and the two unlikely heroes discover a shared identity spanning generations that eventually draws the whole family together.
The J-Word, by Andrew Sanger
COMMENT & REVIEWS
A beautiful, thoughtful portrait of the anxieties and paradoxes of modern Jewish life.
– LINDA GRANT (Orange Prize winner; best-selling author - When I Lived In Modern Times; etc)
Moving, funny and uplifting... one of the most interesting, charming and well-written novels about being Jewish and English ever. – AMANDA CRAIG (award-winner, best-selling author - Hearts & Minds, etc)
A charming tale... a delightful read. A vivid picture of the perplexing muddle that is the capital’s Jewish population today. – JEWISH CHRONICLE (London)
For an exploration of Jewish identity, I strongly recommend Andrew Sanger's novel The J-Word. – RUTH GLEDHILL, THE TIMES (Comment in news article about a legal case)
The most fantastic novel I've read for many a year. I strongly recommend it. When I got to the end I turned back to page one and read it again. It was just as good second time round. – CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN (blogger, author, UK)
The book reflects newer aspects of Jewish contemporary experience that cannot fail to resonate in an American reader just as they might in an English one. – ERIKA DREIFUS (author, reviewer, blogger, New York)
A book that inspires introspection. The J-Word is a reminder that... there is something deeply ingrained in Jewish identity that connects us all. – JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL (New York)
A fascinating exposure of the vagaries of Jewish identity and its impact on individual lives. A considerable achievement. – HAMPSTEAD & HIGHGATE EXPRESS (London)
Fast-moving and thought-provoking. A thrilling read. – CANADA POST
A remarkably accomplished debut from a talented writer. – MODERN BRITISH FICTION (blog on suite101.com)
Paradoxes are integral to The J-Word, the accomplished first novel of travel writer Andrew Sanger, which brings to life the vagaries of Jewish identity against a vivid north-west London backdrop. – AJR JOURNAL (journal of the Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain)
Witty, plausible, keeps you guessing to the end... a really good read. – WESSEX JEWISH NEWS (magazine of the Jewish community in and around Bournemouth, UK)
All content copyright worldwide. © Andrew Sanger except where shown. Pictures of Andrew Sanger © Geraldine Dunham.