book | Fiction | 2014
Two people fall in love in a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited. As they discover where they came from and where they are going, a bigger, more shattering truth is revealed to them.
Kevern doesn't know why his father made him put two finger across his lips whenever he began a word with a J. It wasn't then, and isn't now, the time or place for asking questions. Ailinn, too, has grown up in the dark about who she was and where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn't ask who did it. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren't sure whether they have fallen in love of their own accord or whether they've been pushed into each other's arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?
Hanging over all the lives of everyone in this novel is a momentous catastrophe - a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED.
Tender and terrifying, J deserves to be spoken in the same breath as Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World.
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Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for J
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The Sunday Express
The Jewish Chroncile
The Guardian Full Review
The New Statesman
The Daily Mail
The Jewish Chronicle
“Jacobson’s earlier novels have been compared with some frequency to Philip Roth’s. . . . It’s harder to see Roth in the thrilling and enigmatic refractions of J, whose subtle profundities and warm intelligence are Jacobson’s own. . . . J is not a joyful book, by any means, but its insistent vitality offers something more than horror: a vision of the world in which even the unsayable can, almost, be explained.”
The New York Times Review of Books