Outlaw Poet Alan Kaufman Shares His Mother's Letters of Surviving the Holocaust in New Memoir
Alan Kaufman recently appeared at the Osher Family Jewish Community Center in Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he spoke about his mother's letters which detailed how she fled from the Nazis during World War II. He also discussed his memoir, Drunken Angel, the story of his descent into alcoholism and how he finally overcame it.
Before the event, J Weekly, the top Jewish newspaper of Northern California, interviewed Alan Kaufman. Of Drunken Angel, J Weekly writes, "Even after hitting rock bottom, he balks when a friend, a recovering alcoholic, tells him the 12-step program requires belief in a "higher power." But today, an accomplished, award-winning writer, he balks no more. He starts each morning by putting a kippah on his head, and reciting the Shema. "Jewishness invites us to establish a unique bond with God and humanity," he said. "Abraham was an iconoclast ... He says, 'I'm going to have a personal relationship with one god.' That makes him a spiritual outlaw, and that's what we are supposed to be: spiritual outlaws."'
By Alan Kaufman
"This outlaw hero is someone to cheer for." -Foreword Reviews
Alan Kaufman has been compared to Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Hubert Selby Jr., and even Ernest Hemingway, another soldier turned writer. Drunken Angel drops like a sledgehammer: an exhilarating account of a life-long battle with alcoholism and a magnificent rise into sobriety. Along the way, Kaufman shares revealing portraits of mentors and friends, including Allen Ginsberg, Kathy Acker, Barney Rosset, Anthony Burgess, Elie Wiesel, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Bernard Malamud. Now a leading voice of the children of Holocaust survivors, Kaufman delivers a lacerating, cautionary tale of a life wasted and reclaimed through love and storytelling. Drunken Angel is also available as an audiobook.