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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Walter Mosley interview 

Publisher's Lunch points to a very well-done profile of Walter Mosley, whose latest book, THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT, is just out. It's not a crime novel, and even though Mosley got his start--and his fame--with the Easy Rawlins novels, he's written all sorts of things in an attempt to stay sharp, political, and astute.

The part that caught my eye was this: His mother, in her 80s and still driving to her school clerk's job in L.A., is Jewish. Mosley does not consider her or any other Jew as being white, and understands that to be a radical idea. By his reasoning, Jews, in the eyes of Europe's Aryan supremacists, were an extinguishable race.

This is a radical idea? Well, I suppose in a sense it is, but at the same time, being a white, upper-middle class Jew who grew up in a close-knit community with an ever-present knowledge of how "different" I was from the outside world, even while I inhabit-and embrace--it, I've had similar sentiments, although perhaps not put in such a stark fashion as Mosley does. But then, as put by my late grandfather when he was once asked the "who is a Jew" question by the little-boy-version of my father, one only really knows the answer when you look to see who's running alongside you to escape a pogrom.

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