Jewish Noir
317 pages
English

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317 pages
English

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Description

Jewish Noir is a unique collection of new stories by Jewish and non-Jewish literary and genre writers, including numerous award-winning authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S.J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Charles Ardai, and Kenneth Wishnia. The stories explore such issues as the Holocaust and its long-term effects on subsequent generations, anti-Semitism in the mid- and late-twentieth-century United States, and the dark side of the Diaspora (the decline of revolutionary fervor, the passing of generations, the Golden Ghetto, etc.). The stories in this collection also include many “teachable moments” about the history of prejudice, and the contradictions of ethnic identity and assimilation into American society.


Stories include:

“A Simkhe” (A Celebration), first published in Yiddish in the Forverts in 1912 by one of the great unsung writers of that era, Yente Serdatsky. This story depicts the disillusionment that sets in among a group of Russian Jewish immigrant radicals after several years in the United States. This is the story’s first appearance in English.


“Trajectories,” Marge Piercy’s story of the divergent paths taken by two young men from the slums of Cleveland and Detroit in a rapidly changing post-World War II society.


“Some You Lose,” Nancy Richler’s empathetic exploration of the emotional and psychological challenges of trying to sum up a man’s life in a eulogy.


“Her Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah,” Rabbi Adam Fisher’s darkly comic profanity-filled monologue in the tradition of Sholem Aleichem, the writer best known as the source material for Fiddler on the Roof (minus the profanity, that is).


“Flowers of Shanghai,” S.J. Rozan’s compelling tale of hope and despair set in the European refugee community of Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II.


“Yahrzeit Candle,” Stephen Jay Schwartz’s take on the subtle horrors of the inevitable passing of time.


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 novembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781629631578
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

Praise for Jewish Noir
"A little angst, some healthy cynicism, a touch of guilt, a few wisecracks, and some very good stories. What else were you expecting?"
Michael Moorcock, author of Mother London and the Colonel Pyat Quartet
"A hearty mazel tov to the ingenious team who created and assembled this vivid and wide-ranging collection."
Linda Barnes, author of The Perfect Ghost
"The words ‘Jewish noir’ may be redundant, as Kenneth Wishnia points out in his introduction, as brilliant a piece as any in the book. But the authors drill down beneath that surface to uncover a teeming world of hardship and sometime triumph. From a newly translated historical as fresh today as ever to what can only be described as Jewish domestic suspense, gritty tales of childhood to characters appearing on the page for one last dance, this anthology should appeal to readers with an interest in the Jewish tradition and ongoing plight. But perhaps most striking is that Jewish Noir will dazzle crime fiction readers of every variety as well."
Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of As Night Falls
"Some seriously good stuff here. This goy loved it."
Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Shining. Evocative. Penetrating."
Elie Wiesel (on Stephen Jay Schwartz’s story " Yahrzeit Candle")
" Jewish Noir presents a fascinating, kaleidoscopic array of stories of the entirety of the Jewish Experience, sparing no mercy yet with great heart. This anthology demonstrates with great effect that no matter how much man plans, God is always there to laugh."
Sarah Weinman, editor, Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s
Praise for Kenneth Wishnia
On The Fifth Servant :
"Brilliant, intense, and well-researched. [Wishnia writes for] a diverse audience of intelligent readers. I eagerly await his next venture into any period of Jewish history."
Jewish Book World
"Powerful … A densely philosophical yet surprisingly witty historical mystery."
Booklist
"Well-developed characters and detailed portrayals of life at the time help make this historical crime thriller a gripping page-turner."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
" The Fifth Servant is the best mystery of the year. Wishnia presents the world of Ashkenazi Jewry with a keen eye for detail. Wishnia never judges his characters, but creates three-dimensional people who live in a very dangerous world. I left the book grateful to live today and with a new respect for my ancestors for holding on to Judaism."
Jewish Press
"The most fun this reviewer’s had reading any book since Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ."
New York Journal of Books
On the Filomena Buscarsela series:
"One of the most distinctive series in mystery fiction. Refreshingly original and complex."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"Wishnia’s word play is as sharp as his social conscience."
Washington Post
"If someone happens to ask you where the really important, groundbreaking new work in the mystery field is being done, point them toward [Kenneth] Wishnia."
Chicago Tribune
"From page-turning thriller to mystery story to social investigation, 23 Shades of Black works on all levels. It’s clear that Wishnia is charting a unique path in crime fiction. Sign me up for the full ride!"
Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch series

Jewish Noir
This collection © 2015 PM Press.
All stories © 2015 by the individual contributors.
"Idle Thoughts, Fifty-Four Years Later" and "Final Shtick" © 2015 by The Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved.
Introduction, translation of " A Simkhe ," and "Lost Pages from the Book of Judith"
© 2015 Kenneth Wishnia
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN: 978–1–62963–111–0
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015930893
Cover by John Yates / www.stealworks.com
Interior design by briandesign
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
www.pmpress.org
Printed in the USA by the Employee Owners of Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan. www.thomsonshore.com
Contents
Introduction
BITTER HERBS
Devil for a Witch
R.S. Brenner
The Sacrifice of Isaac
Steven Wishnia
Living Underwater
B.K. Stevens
Quack and Dwight
Travis Richardson
THE GOLDEN LAND
A Simkhe (A Celebration)
Yente Serdatsky
Trajectories
Marge Piercy
Lost Pages from the Book of Judith
Kenneth Wishnia
The Legacy
Wendy Hornsby
NIGHT AND FOG
Blood Diamonds
Melissa Yi
The Flowers of Shanghai
S.J. Rozan
Feeding the Crocodile
Moe Prager
Good Morning, Jerusalem 1948
Michael J. Cooper
L’DOR V’DOR
(FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION)
Some You Lose
Nancy Richler
Baruch Dayan Emet (Blessed Is the True Judge)
M. Dante
Yahrzeit Candle
Stephen Jay Schwartz
Nakhshon
Robert Lopresti
One of Them
Alan Orloff
Silver Alert
S.A. Solomon
SUBURBAN SPRAWL
Her Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah: A Mother Talks to the Rabbi
Adam D. Fisher
Sucker’s Game
Michele Lang
Jewish Easter
David Liss
The Golem of Jericho
Jonathan Santlofer
Your Judaism
Tasha Kaminsky
KAFFEE MIT SCHLOCK
Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die
Charles Ardai
Errands
Gary Phillips
Doc’s Oscar
Eddie Muller
Everything Is Bashert
Heywood Gould
The Drop
Alan Gordon
Twisted Shikse
Jedidiah Ayres
All Other Nights
Jason Starr
Something’s Not Right
Dave Zeltserman
VINTAGE REPRINT
Idle Thoughts, Fifty-Four Years Later
Harlan Ellison®
Final Shtick
Harlan Ellison®
Contributors
Introduction
Far dem emes shlogt men.
Tell the truth and you ask for a beating.
Yiddish proverb
When we first invited the authors to submit a story for this anthology, one of them, Rabbi Adam Fisher, replied with a question: What did we mean by Jewish Noir ? Anything written by a Jewish author, or did the stories have to deal with specifically Jewish themes?
First of all, how characteristically Jewish to answer a question with a question.
We wanted stories with Jewish themes. What, then, constitutes Jewish noir ? Practically anything, it turns out. One of the paradigmatic noir themes is that of the person who is at home nowhere, which has been a defining element of the Jewish experience since around 1900 BCE, when God tells Abraham to leave his home city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia, with the admonition, "Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs" (Gen. 15:13).
Even the word Hebrews conveys our rootless nomadic origins. When Jonathan son of Saul says, "Come, let us cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side" (1 Samuel 14:1), the words for cross over and other side contain the root letters e-b-r, ebra and ever , respectively. And in the earliest known extrabiblical reference to Israel , the Egyptian Merenptah Stele circa 1200 BCE, the word for Israel includes "a glyph that denotes a people without a place" (Golden 122). Thus our ancient tribal names mean to cross over, to wander, to be a stranger, to be rootless. 1
And things didn’t get much better once we got to the rocky highlands of Canaanite territory. While the farmers in the fertile riverbeds of Egypt and Mesopotamia both places where the Hebrews had sojourned extensively could count on regular annual flooding to replenish the soil, producing a culture whose gods were largely benevolent and well disposed toward humanity, agriculture in the arid uplands of Canaan was dependent on the whims of distant and capricious storm-gods, who could destroy a harvest by withholding rain or by sending too much rain at the wrong time (Oppenheim 67).
Perhaps for this reason literary scholar Richard B. Sewall writes, "Of all ancient peoples, the Hebrews were most surely possessed of the tragic sense of life" (21). We see this quality in the patriarch Jacob, who is blessed with fathering the twelve tribes of Israel, yet he makes a deathbed declaration that his life has been short and problem-filled (Gen. 47:9) because he spent most of his years living as a stranger in foreign lands, according to Rashi’s interpretation of the passage.
The God of the Israelites is well aware of that tribe’s precarious nomadic existence: after the Exodus, when the children of Israel are wandering in the wilderness, God issues a command regarding the Ark of the Covenant: "The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it" (Exodus 25:15), just in case the Israelites need to pull up stakes and make a quick getaway. One of the more frequent curses that God threatens to impose on the Israelites if they violate the Covenant is that of perpetual homelessness. A typical example:
The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar … A ruthless nation, that will show the old no regard and the young no mercy … The Lord will scatte

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