An Unusual Jewish Novel, Full of Blood and Incense

January 10, 2018 | , , , ,

THE RUINED HOUSE
By Ruby Namdar
Translated by Hillel Halkin
514 pp. Harper. $29.99.

It’s been a season of reckoning for our high priests, as one after another, in the film industry, journalism, politics, academia and other fields, have been judged and sometimes punished for their sins. How eerie that Ruby Namdar’s strange and exhilarating novel, “The Ruined House,” should appear in English translation just now.

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Why Do We Love to Curse So Much?

September 26, 2016 | ,

WHAT THE F
What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves
By Benjamin K. Bergen
271 pp. Basic Books. $27.99.

IN PRAISE OF PROFANITY
By Michael Adams
253 pp. Oxford University Press. $17.95.

Every parent has been there, or will be there soon: the moment when your darling 5-year-old says one of the magic words that can transform a PG movie into an R, or earn an N.B.A. star a $25,000 fine.
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