Page 31 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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19
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
by her friendship with a fine German Jewish violinist. Franz
Werfel’s
Star of the unborn
(New York, Viking, 1946) is in character
and quality quite inferior to his earlier writings. I t is a novel set
in the Eleventh Cosmic Year of Virgo (spiritual time) 100,00()
years from now in which only the Catholic Church and the Jews
have survived. The English version of a novel which appeared in
German in 1935 was well received in this country. I t is
The son
of the lost son
by Soma Morgenstern, translated by Joseph Leftwich
and Peter Gross (New York, Rinehart; Philadelphia, Jewish
Publication Society of America, 1946). I t is the story of the search
begun in Vienna in 1928 by a rich and pious Jewish landowner
for the son of his brother, an apostate, whom he wishes to redeem,
in order to fulfil his craving for an heir. In
The strange adventure
of Danny Noor
by Shelomo Ben-Israel [translated from the
Hebrew by Dov Ben-Abba], illustrated by Julian Brazelton (New
York, Behrman, 1945) we meet with a thirteen year old boy who
ran away from Tel-Aviv to see the world by tramp steamer, visit-
ing settlements of fellow Jews in India and Ethiopia along the way.
Jewish experience in America is not always neglected in the
year’s output of fiction. A few examples will suffice.
Before the
sun goes down
by Elizabeth M. Howard (Garden City, N. Y.,
Doubleday Doran, 1946) is an interesting story of our nation in
1880 drawn to scale. In the various lives and cross-currents of
Willowspring, a town in Pennsylvania, one meets with the increas-
ing interplay of its people in which a number of Jewish characters
play their roles.
The nightingale's song
by Mrs. Dorothy Alofsin
(Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1945)
is a novel for young adults in which the story is told of how a Jew-
ish farm family wins the regard of their community and their
daughter, who struggles to become an author, renews her pride
in her people’s heritage and in America.
The ragged edge
by Jack
Karney (New York, Morrow, 1946) deals with life on New York’s
lower East Side. I t is a terse novel of the Slater family, poor,
corrupt but not without a chance at future happiness. A charac-
teristically American provincial experience is depicted in
The
Stone in the rain
by Laurette MacDuffie (Garden City, N. Y.,
Doubleday-Doran, 1946). I t is a first novel written on a Rosen-
wald Fellowship and represents a study of several inferiority
complexes. The major characters are. maladjusted. One of them
Luther Perrin, a rich man who remembers with bitterness his hum-
ble beginnings in Somerset, N. C., and who has got religion — and,
paradoxically, anti-Semitism — late in life. He, with the support
of some Silver Shirt members, plans for a “ restricted” beach
resort — “ restricted” in this case applying only to Jews, since
Negroes, of course, “ know their place” in Somerset.