2 – Life Writer


Self-revelation is a focus of Alan Kaufman’s writing, whether in straightforward memoirs Jew Boy (2000) and Drunken Angel (2011), or the novel Matches, loosely based on his experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979-1984).

Todd Follett interviewed Alan Kaufman in 2015 for Switchback, the online journal of the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at the University of San Francisco, exploring the “outlaw” identity in Kaufman’s multi-faceted writing career as a memoirist, poet, novelist, and editor. 

Kaufman relayed the intensity of his personal, very spiritual journey in his interview with Follett: 

To be an Outlaw poet or writer means not only to seek to become free in oneself through writing, but also to show others the ways to attain liberation through that unsparing portrayal of the truth about one's own life.

… The urge to find truth in self-reflection indeed changed my life and so then my writing, however the habit was not always with me. 

… For a long time literature served as a form of personal escape, the career of "writer" a culturally-approved legitimization of my right to avoid not only self-reflection but to reject altogether any sort of responsibility for my personal conduct. 

… The Holocaust brought me back to earth.