Fiction. Jewish Studies. A version of Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Ilyich, except that it is contemporary, Jewish, and (therefore?) often funny. Tolstoy wasn't much given to humor, though it's a vital part of our visions of ourselves. "Vidui" is a Hebrew prayer to be recited when death is imminent, often translated as "confession," but with the word meaning what it did for St. Augustine—a reckoning, a summing-up.
Born in White Plains, NY, David R. Slavitt was educated at Andover, Yale, Columbia, and Newsweek. When he was 30, he "lit out for the territory" (Cape Cod) and commenced as a freelance writer. He has published 120 books: poetry, novels, criticism, and translations (from Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish, and Portuguese). His most recent works include VIDUI (Livingston Press, 2019) and SHIKSA (C&R Press, 2014). He lives in Cambridge, MA, with his wife and a cat.Author City: CAMBRIDGE, MA USA