A Holocaust allegory told by a donkey and a howler monkey
Beatrice and Virgil:
by Yann Martel
$24.00 List Price
In an interview with The Onion in 2007, Yann Martel gave an unlikely description of his work in progress. It would be a book in two parts, he explained, a novel and an essay "published back-to-back, upside down, what the trade calls a flipbook. In other words, a book with two covers. And they'll have the same title: 'A 20th-Century Shirt.' They share the same fundamental metaphor to do with the shirt and to do with the laundry, and they both have to do with the Holocaust."
To treat the Holocaust in terms of laundry, or a shirt, or something—it sounds silly at best, offensive at worst. Yet it also sounds oddly true to the sensibility of Martel, as the world came to know it in his Man Booker Prize–winning novel Life of Pi (2001). That book, after all, featured a young boy who survived a shipwreck in the company of
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