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to come.” Recognized as one of the most important Jewish

American writers of the present time, Chabon posits in his

novel a provocative question by placing Jews in the awkward

position presently occupied by the Palestinians: having to live

on borrowed time, on land not their own, with Diaspora an

everyday reality. How are peace and redemption possible

under such circumstances, given that contingencies tend to

divert history from rationally calculated paths onto

unintentional detours? Chabon’s counterfactual fiction

proffers a strident critique of religious fundamentalism in all

its forms, especially fundamentalisms bound up with

nationalism. Neither Diaspora nor Zionism guarantees Jews

their long-awaited redemption; however, small-scale

redemption is readily available when the redemptive fantasy

is placed in suspension, thus opening up space for “the

blessings of more life.”

Key Words:

counterfactual, conspiracy, diaspora, funda-

mentalism, exceptionalism