The North of God

Overview

Here in a place dedicated to the manufacture of fear?a place that one ghoul of a Rebbe declared was located to the North of God, where his jurisdicition no longer held sway?Velvl found himself developing a certain resistance.

Through numerous books and stories, Steve Stern has become known for his fantastical (and often wildly comic) stories based on yiddish folklore?Harold Bloom has called him "a throwback to the Yiddish sublime." But with this novella, Stern matches his ...

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2008 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 108 p. Contemporary Art of the Novella.

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Overview

Here in a place dedicated to the manufacture of fear—a place that one ghoul of a Rebbe declared was located to the North of God, where his jurisdicition no longer held sway—Velvl found himself developing a certain resistance.

Through numerous books and stories, Steve Stern has become known for his fantastical (and often wildly comic) stories based on yiddish folklore—Harold Bloom has called him "a throwback to the Yiddish sublime." But with this novella, Stern matches his reverential understanding of that ancient story-telling's power against something he's never written about before: the Holocaust.

The result is a mesmerizing tour-de-force: In a boxcar crammed with Jews headed to a concentration camp, one man attempts to summon up a story vital enough to displace the horror.

The story that comes out is ultimately a swirling, sweeping saga about the stirring obstinacy of the human spirit. And by confronting the ultimate horror with the mythology he has long celebrated, it may also be the crowning achievement of Stern's career.

The Contemporary Art of the Novella series is designed to highlight work by major authors from around the world. In most instances, as with Imre Kertész, it showcases work never before published; in others, books are reprised that should never have gone out of print. It is intended that the series feature many well-known authors and some exciting new discoveries. And as with the original series, The Art of the Novella, each book is a beautifully packaged and inexpensive volume meant to celebrate the form and its practitioners.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Steve Stern's North of God

"The novella — that form of fiction pitched somewhere between the limits of a short story and the roominess of a novel — isn't so hard to find so long as you know where to look..."
The Memphis Flyer

"Steve Stern’s novella is destined to become a Jewish-American classic. It’s that good."
—Sanford Pinsker, Jbooks

Praise for Steve Stern....

“I am a zealous admirer of his one-of-a-kind imagination and magical sentences.”
—Cynthia Ozick

"To be a true inheritor of a tradition carries with it the responsibility of expanding that tradition and keeping it vital. … Steve Stern does both. Only a writer with a deep reverence for and a connection with the ancient story-telling power of his rich folkloric sources could concoct the often irreverently comic twists that distinguish these genuinely marvelous – and always vital – stories.”
—Stuart Dybek

“Steve Stern’s The Angel of Forgetfulness carries me back to Chaim Grade and Moshe Ben Halpern, glories of Yiddish-American literature in my far-off youth. Alternating between outrageousness and wonder, Stern composes with verve and nerve. He is a throwback to the Yiddish sublime.”
—Harold Bloom

"Touching, funny and dizzying as well as delicate in its virtuosity."
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Stern has tapped a direct bloodline, creating an important work of deep themes, soaring language and serious implications that is also unceasingly entertaining."
—Alana Newhouse, The Los Angeles Times

"These seven stories, written with great brio, portray zany Jewish family life ever so slightly haunted by demons. Steve Stern may be a late practitioner of the genre [of Yiddish folklore] but he is an expert one. Whiplash sentences, lots of energy and charm."
—Susan Sontag

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933633565
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Contemporary Art of the Novella Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Stern's fiction, with its deep grounding in Yiddish folklore, has prompted critics such as Cynthia Ozick to hail him as the successor to Isaac Bashevis Singer. He is the author of critically acclaimed books such as Isaac and the Undertaker's Daughter, winner of the Pushcart Writers' Choice Award; The Wedding Jester, which won the National Jewish Book Award; and, most recently, The Angel of Forgetfulness, one of The Washington Post's Best Books of 2006. Stern currently lives in Balston Spa, New York, and teaches at Skidmore College.
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