THE LAST SHIKSA by B. H. Litwack


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A thinly nourished, jazzy grab book (yes, you'll have to brush up your Yiddish for this one) that's hyperbolic and rude enough to stay aloft long after it should by rights have gone latke-flat. Arnie Gaff is a 45-year-old divorced millionaire, address Park Avenue, with a dirty mind like you shouldn't know from. And his grail is the perfect shiksa: that ur-goygirl who can't even come close to making a guttural ""h"" (like in hutzpah), that goddess free of all Semitism, that whitebreadeating vision of his dreams. To get at her, Arnie goes through women like a salesman through a swatchbook: his doorman's daughter, his doctor's nurse--and, finally, his shrink's wife, who just may be the one he's been questing for. Both to his credit and not, Litwack has made Arniea real pig: bigoted, tetchy, manipulatory (he never tells his shiksas he's Jewish: ""I'm Basque""), sharp, and generally unpleasant. Also often funny. This is an essay on Jewishness in its most impolite, exaggerated form, and though Litwack's no artist and can't people this little shtetl of Portnoy country with more than one real character, he is able to muster raw material that's really raw and slap it over. Not for the finicky, this, then; not for the Anti-Defamation League, either.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 1977
Publisher: Putnam