Page 26 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
16
Yiddish by S. P. Rudens (New York, Amcho, 1946) is the first
collection in English of writings by a well-known Yiddish humorist.
I t consists of short stories, humorous monologues, dialogues and
aphorisms.
Some of the Jewish experiences in the armed forces have found
their way into the literature and lore inspired by the recent war.
Act of fa i th and other stories
by Irwin Shaw (New York, Random,
1946) offers a collection of twelve masterful war stories. Mr. Shaw
who is well-known as a gifted playwright uses his dramatic tech-
nique with a sure, unerring skill. Three of the stories have Jews
as their heroes and one deals with American antisemitism. Shaw
does not rest with the presumable defeat of the enemies of the
Jews but shows th a t although the military war was won by the
Allies, the war of propaganda against the Jews was won by the
fascists. Moreover, he also shows th a t the surviving Jews of
Europe have nowhere to go bu t to Palestine — “ the lamb does
not go back to the slaughter house.”
First novels are traditionally autobiographical. Frequently they
are mediums for the expression of youthful indignation, all the
pent-up fury and frustration inspired in young writers by their
home towns, their first jobs and their families. Such novels often
pass unnoticed. One which ought not to have this fate for it
may be the first step in a notable literary career is
The dim view
by Basil Heatter (New York, Farrar, Straus, 1946). I t is a novel,
the hero of which in the first person is Jim Masters, naval lieu-
tenan t in command of a PT boat, who would not or could not
surrender his personality. Mr. H ea tte r extricates his hero from
this dilemma by introducing Nora Young, a generous, a ttrac tive
Australian barmaid, and Dr. Milton Schwartz, refugee Jewish
psychiatrist, who endeavor to restore the wounded man to mental
health. Love and wisdom unite to win out, though not w ithout
a struggle. The author of the novel is the son of the well-known
radio commentator, Gabriel H ea tte r and the grandson of David
Moses Hermalin, a distinguished Yiddish journalist. The subject
of his novel is one th a t he can trea t with experience, for he is him-
self a veteran of the war in the Pacific, a former officer on a PT
boat, wounded in action.
Hangman's hill
by Franklyn Pell (New York, Dodd, Mead,
1946) is a mystery story (winner of the semi-annual Red Badge
$1000 Prize Contest) involving personnel of an army press camp
in ETO, presumably in Alsace, during the Allied invasion. Among
the correspondents are two photographers, Tubby Cohen, who is
Jewish arid Walter Levine. Because of Levine’s name and his
passionate avowal of hatred for the Nazis and their persecution
of the Jews, he is taken for a Jew, until Cohen becomes suspicious