The British journalist Julie Burchill has never shied away from expressing her sympathy for Jews and the Jewish state. Quitting the Guardian in 2004, she explicitly cited its anti-Semitism as the reason, and she later considered converting to Judaism. Unchosen, her new memoir about her relationship with the Jewish people, has its flaws, writes Benjamin Bilski, but also much of value:
Unchosen has been greeted with derisive reviews invariably missing what makes this book most interesting. The Jewish people have always been outsiders, both as a nation and in exile, and yet despite all the odds, Burchill’s fascination is not with minor cultural staples and bagels but with the undefined struggle.
[She writes that she is] “seeking an absence, a mystery, an unknowable something that happened centuries ago which resulted in a tribe of desert nomads surviving for four millennia—while every sucker, charlatan, and Sadducee attempted to eradicate them—to basically build the modern world.”