AWARDS ATTENTION: Yiddish for Pirates was a finalist for the Giller, was nominated for the GG, and won the Leacock Medal as well as the Canadian Jewish Literary Award and the Hamilton Arts Council Literary Award.
FOR FANS OF: JoJo Rabbit, Life is Beautiful, Everything is Illuminated.
BESTSELLER: Yiddish for Pirates was a Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller.
MASTER OF WORLDPLAY: Gary’s punmanship is unmatched!
SURVIVOR STORIES: The book weaves in survivor testimonies and factual history.
“[A] boundary-pushing [and]…very funny book…. There are few voices in Canadian writing as original as Barwin’s.” —Toronto Star
“[Gary Barwin] proves again why he’s one of the most distinct voices in Canadian lit.” —The Globe and Mail
“[D]arkly humorous and affecting…the fantastic one-liners deepen the poignancy of the horrors. This inventive, madcap novel is a stunning testament to Jewish humor and survival.” —Publishers Weekly
“Barwin is a talented and prolific artist…and this novel showcases his signature style and strengths: acrobatic language bursting with puns, rhyme, alliteration and all manner of wordplay, madcap escapades, and a sprinkle of slapstick…. This wildly inventive novel plays by its own rules. In Barwin’s world, imagination is freedom, and comedy, courage.” —Quill & Quire
"Barwin’s second novel deserves the same attention as his first; it takes risks with an even more ambitious premise, is filled with delightful wordplay and poetic language and, like Yiddish for Pirates, there is simply not anything else out there quite like it.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“A fierce and funny horse ride through hell, told with brio.” —Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
“A hilarious and life-affirming adventure, equal parts Sound of Music, Blazing Saddles and matzo ball soup. This is Barwin’s tallest and deepest tale yet, a crackers modern Western that meditates (as it moseys) on compassion, kinship and the absurdity of atrocity.” —Sean Michaels, author of The Wagers
“This is the most wildly inventive novel I have read in decades, and Gary Barwin is the enormously talented wordsmith who has pulled it off! It begins in the nightmare of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Lithuania and travels across Europe and North America examining the plight both of Jews and Indigenous peoples. And through it all we find jokes based on cowboy themes. Jokes! What are jokes doing among these calamities? Displacing the horror, easing the way, making the tragedies, if not bearable, at least something one can talk about without incessant weeping in a world haunted by the past.” —Antanas Sileika, author of Provision Yours
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