Patty Friedmann had that sad childhood that is pretty much a prerequisite for a novelist. She’s written seven darkly comic novels–and finally she draws on the autobiographical material that made it all possible.
Too Jewish tells a story much like the central tale of her young life: her father suffered from survivor guilt, all the while trying to make his way in a hostile society. Like Patty’s father, protagonist Bernie Cooper escapes Nazi Germany, leaving his mother behind, then tries to make a life for himself with a wealthy, thoroughly assimilated Jewish girl in the Deep South. But suddenly, snobberies he couldn’t even have guessed at are set in motion. It seems Letty’s prominent Jewish parents hate him for being…too Jewish!
A bittersweet love story told in three novellas, each from the point of view of one member of the Cooper family.
“A powerful and emotional story of a Jewish family here in America.”
—Life in Review
“Patty Friedmann may be the greatest New Orleans author of the past quarter century. If you like New Orleans, if you’re interested in its Jewish community or Southern life or simply the rhythms of America’s most unique city, you’ll love Too Jewish. And even if you don’t give a hoot about NOLA and its Jews, buy Too Jewish for another reason: it’s a great read.”
“The Friedmann comic voice is filled with so much anger, outrage, astonishment, fear, resentment, and unleashed id that we readers nearly fall out of our chairs in wonder and laughter and shock.”
“Walker Percy once wrote that ‘the next Southern literary revival will be led by a Jewish mother, which is to say, a shrewd self-possessed woman with a sharp eye and a cunning retentive mind who sees the small triumphs and tragedies around her and has her own secret method of rendering it, with an art all her own.’ And that is totally Patty Friedmann.”
—Anne Gisleson, Signposts in a Strange Land