Blue Monday: Grunberg writes a blue streak

Arnon Grunberg, a 26-year-old native of Amsterdam, wrote the novel Blue Monday (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1997) on a dare. It has sold 70,000 copies in Holland and been republished in various translations. Blue Monday has been compared to Roth’s Goodbye Columbus; Grunberg’s often-pixilated protagonist, also called Arnon, is a sort of Jewish Casanova who vividly records his colorful and occasionally hilarious adventures and misadventures with a series of prostitutes.

Grunberg has a tight writing style that is colorful and hip, and he says he works hard to make the writing seem effortless. “The most important rule about writing about sex is you should not attempt to do it when you are dying to have sex,” he said. ♦

© 1997