Page 170 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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AME R I CAN J EW I S H F I C T I O N BOOKS
1959-1960
B
y
M
ary
N.
K
iev
A
LTHOUGH the volume of this year’s list has not diminished
numerically, the literary critic will need to search for un-
usual content or form. Significantly, this year’s titles epitomize
and highlight the theme of one-third of the books.
Back to Ber-
lin, The Cat in the Ghetto , The Chains of Love , The Lost Euro
-
peans, Through Dooms of Love, The Golden Cage—
all depict
memories of fear and turmoil and utter horror that cry out for
an outlet. One senses through it all the need to rediscover oneself,
to uproot the past and adjust to a new world and a new environ-
ment, whether it be here in America or elsewhere in Europe.
It is no longer the immigrant who is adjusting to a new life
in a new world, but the refugee who must assuage the pain and
anguish that well up from within. Two fictional works,
Eva
and
Shalom,
although grim and doleful, end on a note of courage,
faith and hope—their sad journey terminates happily in Israel.
The adventure of night school learning is found in
Th e Re-
turn of Hyman Kaplan,
and the search for roots in America by
the Golin family is portrayed in
The Bu ilding.
Many of the sons and grandsons of the early immigrants to
these shores have been completely absorbed into the American
scene. As a result, they are writing about the Jew in America:
Grandpa and the Girls, H e Had I t Made, The Lo tus Eaters,
P illar of Salt, Mrs. Sherman’s Summer,
and
The T im e of Peaches.
By far the most interesting reading this season were the books
of short stories:
The Chosen, Laughing w ith Tears, Love and
L ike , Sorrow Laughs,
and
The Zulu and the Zeide.
B
e n
-G
avr iel
,
M. Y. Mahaschavi in peace and war. Introduction by
Harry Golden. New York, Citadel, 1960. 224 p.
The adventures of an Israeli chicken farmer-soldier.
B
loom
, H
arry
.
Sorrow laughs. New York, Abelard-Schuman, 1959. 223
p .
A novel depicting the effects of an arson case on a Jewish family
during the depression years.
B
r e l i s
, D
e a n
.
Shalom. Boston, Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1959. 262 p.
Adventures and relationships of a group of Jewish refugees on their
way to Israel from a DP camp in Marseilles in 1948. The characters
include Joseph Zwi, captain of the ship Esther; Milka, a beautiful
German Jewess; Michael, the young Polish DP; and Abraham, a
blind biblical patriarch who leads them to the promised land.
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