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A collection of stories by the award-winning author of Past Continuous and Past Perfect features Israelis on the brink of independence in 1940s Tel Aviv, from a fortune-seeking poulterer, to a refugee on the run from his creditors, to a ribald nude model.
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Yaakov Shabtai (1934-1981) is the author of novels, plays, short stories, and a children's book. He was awarded the 1986 Kenneth B. Smilen Literary Award, and in 1999 the Tel Aviv Municipality named a street after him in a new district of the city.From Publishers Weekly:
At their best, the stories in this collection by Shabtai (1934–1981) are masterful, ironically drawn character studies evoking the Israeli frontier spirit under the British mandate while capturing the shift from old world religiosity to new world secularism. Originally published in Hebrew in 1972, the collection is bookended by two linked stories chronicling the deaths of the narrator's grandparents and with them the loss of Jewish traditions. In "Adoshem," the narrator skips bar mitzvah classes despite his fear of his grandfather, an ancient, dour man wont "to break into the prayers which poured through his thin lips as indifferently as falling grain." With "Departure," Shabtai lovingly catalogues a grandmother's meager possessions: "She lived with her belongings in great economy and intimacy, reserving to each its proper place and time and use, like objects in the performance of a rite." Several other linked stories feature the narrator's uncles, energetic men in the grip of ideals and passions (Zionism, communism, socialism, entrepreneurialism). Uncle Shmuel moves his family to a farming collective and sinks his assets into "semi-automatic henhouses." Uncle Fink juggles four women and embezzles money to build a circus. In the title story, Uncle Peretz devotes himself to the Party and a tortured love affair. Though there are several weaker stories, this oblique chronicle of Israel's inception warrants its place in the Hebrew literary canon.
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Book Description Overlook Hardcover, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1585673404
Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2004. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. With the publication of his Past Continuous in 1983, Yaakov Shabtai assumed a place of eminence in the canon of modern Jewish literature. Alan Lelchuk, in the New York Times, acclaimed its portrait of contemporary Israeli society as the most prodigious (and probably most realistic) in Hebrew fiction. In Uncle Peretz Takes Off, the first collection of Shabtai s short fiction in English, a magnificent gallery of comic and idiosyncratic characters give Tel Aviv of the 1940s an unpredictable frontier quality. Shabtai portrays a society of individualists and schemers in search of redemption: Uncle Shmuel tries to make his fortune as a poulterer; Uncle Pinek, a born swindler, ends his days as a refugee in Monaco fleeing his creditors; the uncontrollably ribald Tamara Bell, who poses naked for artists, causes adolescent boys in the neighborhood small, excruciating flickers of desire. With unparalleled lyricism and humanity, Shabtai s stories embody the comedy, energy, and tragedy of the early years of the Zionist enterprise. Seller Inventory # BTE9781585673407
Book Description The Overlook Press, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1585673404
Book Description The Overlook Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1585673404 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0699359