Upon hearing that a new novel titled Selfless tells the story of Jonathan Schwartz, a 12-year-old boy who, after accidentally telling his bar mitzvah class one of his grandma’s favorite jokes, is propelled into a world of grand theft, espionage, abandonment, suicide and sexual high jinx, you might wonder if this were a posthumous work by Saul Bellow.
And upon hearing that the joke in question goes, “What is a Jew doing looking in an ashtray? Examining his family tree!” you might venture that the more likely scribe is Philip Roth.
But in both cases, you’d be wrong. For the author of this 415-page tale, which Jewish Book World has called “a side-splitting tour-de-force,” is David Michael Slater.
Selfless can also boast being Blurb! Book of the Week winner, as selected by our resident critics Sally Shields and Dr. Kent.
Like his protagonist, David was born in Pittsburgh, but will be calling into Blurb! today from his hometown of Portland, Ore., where he teaches language arts to high school students.
In addition to penning fiction for adults, David has also been publishing children’s picture books since 2000, beginning with Cheese Louise and running through eight more titles, including Missy Swiss, The Sharpest Tool in the Shed and Ned Loses His Head.
Each week, Blurb! hosts Sally and Dr. Kent review not books but prerecorded pitches from five writers whose literary works are hot off the presses.
And each scribe gets a mere three minutes to convince the hosts that theirs is the book worth cracking. But if they succeed, they capture the coveted Book of the Week title.
That means Sally and Dr. Kent post it prominently on the Blurb! website, just as they did with David’s book.
To top it all off, the winning author gets a guest spot on the show, during which to pitch his or her book live to listeners worldwide, just as David will appear on today’s show at 12:30 p.m. ET.
To tune into Blurb!, click here.
To hear David’s winning blurb and learn more about Blurb!—including how to submit your pitch for an upcoming show— click here.
To read more about Selfless, click here.
To check out David’s website, click here.
To see all our Blurb! Book of the Week winners to date, click here.