I was walking home from shul on a Friday night about six weeks ago. I was passing Aish HaTorah on Pico Blvd, headed east.
I was stopped by a couple from New Jersey. They were looking for Shiloh’s restaurant for a private simcha (celebration).
I said to keep heading east. It was on the other side of Pico, about a quarter mile down.
We got to chatting. They asked me what I did for a living. I said I was a writer. They asked me what I was working on. I said a book on American-Jewish literature.
"Have you interviewed Allen Hoffman?" the guy asked. "He’s my cousin."
"No. Who’s Allen Hoffman?"
"He wrote a lot of books. His best is a collection of short stories called ‘Kagan’s Superfecta.’"
I told him I’d check it out and now I have. It’s excellent.
Hoffman lives in Jerusalem. He’s frum (religious). He teaches in Bar Ilan’s Creative Writing program.