The novel is the second of Federman's novels written directly in French. The first, "Amer Eldorado," was published in Paris in 1974 and nominated for Le Prix Medicis.
The new novel, Federman says, is written in the "pure French slang" he spoke as a young Frenchman lost in the great turmoil of World War II. A German translation will appear in Germany in March and Federman may produce an English version as well.
"Fourrure de ma Tante Rachel" concerns the misfortunes and failures of its young French Jewish narrator, a Holocaust survivor who returns to France to make a new life for himself. He wants to forget America, "the land of misrepresentation where one spends one's illusions in advance." America, however, refuses to be forgotten and he must come to terms with the facts of his life, including the abandonment of his parents and sisters to the "Final Solution" by aunts and uncles who managed to save their own skins.
The story, like many of his novels, bears a remarkable resemblance to Federman's own biography, which he has written and rewritten in multi-voiced narrative constructions throughout his career.
The French-born Federman is a Samuel Beckett scholar and translator, and is widely regarded as one of America's leading writers of experimental fiction. He has a distinguished reputation and wide readership in Europe, where new literary forms are popular with the general public, as well as with the literary establishment.
He is the author of seven prizewinning novels, four books of poetry, translations and many essays, short stories and works of criticism. He is particularly well-known in France and Germany, where his work has been widely translated, and he frequently reads and lectures there.