Page 28 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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J EW I S H BOOK ANNUAL
20
A
s c h
, S
h o l e m
.
Mary. New York, Pu tnam, 1949. 436 p.
This volume concludes Asch’s Christological trilogy, the other novels being
The Nazarene
and
The Apostle.
Of course, a case can be made against calling
these works “Jewish books,” since Asch accepts practically completely the
Christian version of the virgin birth and of the miracles credited to Jesus.
B
o w l e s
, P
a u l
.
The sheltering sky. New York, New Directions, 1950. 318
p .
In this novel of sex in the Nor th African deserts, Paul Bowles includes a
portrait of a North African Jew and a bit about a degenerate couple who dis-
like Jews.
B
r a d y
, L
e o
.
The edge of doom. New York, Du t ton , 1949. 247 p.
In this thriller about a Catholic murdering a priest, the main detective is a
philosophical Jew.
B
u r n s
, R
o b e r t
.
The perfect invader. New York, Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill,
1950. 297 p.
A novel of the occupation of Austria, in which Jews are included, as well as
discussions on the D P ’s, Nazism and other Jewish problems.
D
e n k e r
, H
e n r y
.
My son, the lawyer. New York, Crowell, 1950. 278 p.
The author’s second novel tells of the struggle of a young Jewish boy to
become a lawyer and his battle to survive in the depression era of the 1930’s.
The irony of the tale is tha t the hero is driven to the s tudy of the law by his
mother, a possessive woman who dreams of her son as a “professional man”
rather than a worker. This is an authentic, moving book which, although
much of its material is familiar, attains stature mainly because the novelist
loves and understands his people.
F
a s t
, H
o w a r d
.
Departure and other stories. Boston, Little, Brown, 1949. 238 p.
In this most recent collection of short fiction there are a number of stories
of Jewish interest, including “An Epitaph for Sidney,” which deals with a
Jewish soldier who dies in Spain fighting for the Loyalists, “Where Are Your
Guns?” about anti-Semitism in Colonial America and two others. Although
the stories are of uneven quality there are good things in all of them.
F
i n e m a n
, I
r v i n g
.
Ruth. New York, Harper , 1949. 277 p.
One of American Jewry’s finest imaginative writers has produced a sensitive
recreation of the times of Ru th and other biblical personalities of her time.
The story of Ru th is expanded and parallels to our own time are drawn.
G
i t l i n
, M
u r r a y
.
The embarkation. New York, Crown, 1950. 219 p.
This is a Hemingwayesque novel about a Jewish GI , who deserts after a
horrible experience with an anti-Semitic officer and then refuses to betray
Jewish refugees on the way to Palestine from Italy, in return for which he is
offered a “no court mar t ial” guarantee. I t is a short book and an exciting one.
G
o o d m a n
, P
a u l
.
The break-up of our camp. Norfolk, Conn., New Directions,
1949. 160 p.
Although Paul Goodman’s work has never gained general popularity, he
is one of the best-known avant-garde writers in America and this collection
of short stories, most of them of Jewish content, is an excellent example of his
writing: cerebral, sensitive, literary.
G
r e s h a m
, W
i l l i a m
L
i n d s a y
.
Limbo tower. New York, Rinehar t , 1949. 275 p.
In this novel of life in a tuberculosis ward in a city hospital, there are two
important Jewish characters. One is a young Marxist , the stereotype of the
radical Jew who, brilliant and cynical, delivers himself of a number of orations
about wha t’s wrong with the world. The other Jew, an old man, shakes his
head sadly at the radical Jew and wishes tha t the young man would return
to the faith of his fathers.
H
e r s e y
, J
o h n
.
The wall. New York, Knopf, 1950. 632 p.
This is a novel about the Warsaw Ghet to and the way in which the Jews
finally fought against their Nazi tormentors. A huge novel, drawn on a
sprawling canvas by one of America’s most famous and best writers,
The Wa ll
was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection; it received national acclaim as a
masterpiece. [Editor’s Note: The Jewish Book Council of America presented
its annual fiction award to Mr. Hersey for
The Wall.}
K
a t k o v
, N
o r m a n
.
A little sleep, a little slumber. New York, Doubledav. 1949.
248 p.