Page 107 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 14

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AMERICAN JEWISH FICTION BOOKS
1955-1956
By
M a r y
N.
K i e v
T
HE varied strands of life and ideology that color the complex
issues of Jewish life in America can be found in this year’s
fiction list.
The long awaited and much heralded
Marjorie Morningstar
, by
Herman Wouk, was not the great novel of American Jewish life
we had hoped for. Though a top best seller, it left much to be
desired in its inadequate portrayal of the American Jewish scene.
However, a much more positive Jewish way of life was set forth
sensitively and delicately by Michael Blankfort in
The Strong
Hand.
Many readers will warm to the charm of Leo Berdick and
his father, both orthodox rabbis.
In
The Changelings
, Jo Sinclair explored one of today’s major
problems: the integration of different racial and cultural groups
and the impact of this struggle on the youngsters caught in the
midst of it. This was also true in Bernice Kavinoky’s
Honey from
a Dark Hive
and Benjamin Appel’s
Life and Death of a Tough Guy
.
Charles Angoff’s
Something About My Father
and Isaac Babel’s
Collected Stories
will be welcomed by lovers of short stories.
The historical and biographical novels were numerous this year.
Vina Delmar’s
Beloved
is extremely well done; so, too, is L.
Feuchtwanger’s
Raquel.
The Bible as a source for romance is unending and this year, as
in previous ones, there are many books based on Bible tales.
A
ngoff
, C
harle s
.
Something about
m y
father, and other people. New York,
Thomas Yoseloff, 1956. 366 p.
Thirty-five short stories, most of them interpreting Jewish life in the
United States.
A
ppel
, B
en jam in
.
Life and death of a tough guy. New York, Avon, 1955. 191 p.
Tragedy of Joey (Yussele) Kasow who was born in Hell’s Kitchen, N. Y.,
in 1902, the only Jewish boy on a rough Irish street. Joey, later known as
No-Gun Joey Case, rejects his Jewish origins and in a sense rejects Joey Kasow.
The book reflects the schism between him and his immigrant parents; the
conflict between this Jewish boy and the street corner toughs.
A
sch
, S
holem
.
The prophet. Translated from the Yiddish by Arthur Saul Super.
New York, Putman, 1955. 343 p.
This novel about the Second Isaiah, or Deutero-Isaiah, one of the greatest
personalities of the Old Testament, terminates Asch’s cycle of Biblical nar-
ratives begun with the publication of the Nazarene.
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