Shylock Is My Name
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: February 2016
Duration: 7 hours 28 minutes
Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeares most unforgettable characters: Shylock
Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of "The Merchant of Venice," Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice's "betrayal" of her family and heritage - as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field - Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter's rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylocks demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobsons insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent - a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be "the most troubling of Shakespeares plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging."