For a decade, Shapiro performed standup comedy at clubs in New York and claims that his on-stage career is merely on hiatus. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, writer Meryl Gordon.
Shapiro's new book is Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Führer.
Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I can't decide whether to claim that I am midway through my annual re-reading of Proust or that I have just completed translating Finnegan's Wake into Icelandic.Visit the Hustling Hitler website.
Seriously, I'm reading several books simultaneously, alternating between fiction and non-fiction depending on my mood. I had started Don DeLillo's Zero K only to discover that his meditations of death and immortality may not be the best thing for me to read late at night. So weak soul that I am, I put DeLillo aside when Alan Furst's new novel, A Hero of France, came out. I love Furst's reconstructions of Europe under the shadow of the Nazis -- and long ago I gave a rave review in Time to Dark Star, the first of Furst's spy novels set in this period.
After reluctantly leaving Furst and the French Resistance as I finished A Hero of France, I switched to non-fiction. In this case, I returned to Maria Konnikova's The Confidence Game. This is a riveting study of the psychology of con men. In writing Hustling Hitler, I avoided reading about other grifters because I didn't want to stereotype my great-uncle. But now that my book is in the bookstores, I am reveling in discovering -- thanks to Konnikova -- that Freeman Bernstein holds his own with famous flimflam artists.
My Book, The Movie: Hustling Hitler.