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Stories of an Imaginary Childhood

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In Stories of an Imaginary Childhood Melvin Jules Bukiet inscribes the world that might have been his own if not for the catastrophe that destroyed most of Jewish life in eastern Europe during the 1940s. Set before the Holocaust in the tiny Polish shtetl of Proszowice, each interconnected story follows the young protagonist through the pleasures and humiliations of childhood and the rites of manhood, as he fights against historical, social, and psychological forces that threaten to pull him down.

"Bukiet proves ...

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1992 Softbound Nr Fine Text clean, binding sound.

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1992 Trade Paperback Very Good Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 197 p.

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0810110318 Special holiday sale! Only 1 copy left. A clean and unread copy with light shelf wear. I can send expedited rate if you choose; otherwise it will promptly be sent via ... media rate. Have any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help! During the holiday season, we recommend selecting Expedited Shipping to get your book as fast as possible. Read more Show Less

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1992 PAPERBACK Very Good 0810110318.

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1991 Trade paperback Very Good+ 0810110318. 8.90 X 5.90 X 0.60 inches; 197 pages.

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Evanston, Illinois 1992 Softbound Very Good Octavo, glossy paper covers, 197 pp.

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Overview

In Stories of an Imaginary Childhood Melvin Jules Bukiet inscribes the world that might have been his own if not for the catastrophe that destroyed most of Jewish life in eastern Europe during the 1940s. Set before the Holocaust in the tiny Polish shtetl of Proszowice, each interconnected story follows the young protagonist through the pleasures and humiliations of childhood and the rites of manhood, as he fights against historical, social, and psychological forces that threaten to pull him down.

"Bukiet proves that he is an expert at the [short story] form. His stories lift and soar, encompassing a world of truth in just a few pages. His characters have flesh and life. . . . Bukiet’s topics are varied and universal: first love, growing up, trying to get along with people who are different. Each of these is approached with great humor and a deep respect for life experience."—Daniel Neman, Richmond News Leader

"Jewish-American fiction of a new order, one able to bring the best that has been thought and said about voice and literary texture to the service of a world with richer meaning and a deeper resonance."—Sanford Pinsker, Midstream

"Bukiet is enchanting, original, and thoroughly irresistible in any disguise. Stories of an Imaginary Childhood is an extraordinary achievement, an immensely enjoyable collection of truly remarkable tales."—Susan Miron, Miami Herald

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this well-intentioned but overwritten effort, ultimately a pallid imitation of the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bukiet ( Sandman's Dust ) conjures a Polish shtetl circa 1928. The narrator of 12 linked stories is a precocious Jewish boy who gets into myriad scrapes and who observes his elders with a wry amusement. He makes ``sounds like the slaughter of swine'' on his new violin but his proud parents think he's a virtuoso; when he trades his patchwork quilt for a young gypsy's bicycle, his family looks at him as if he were ``Esau caught trading his birthright for a bowl of pottage'' and the less-than-thrilled gypsies compel him to bicycle on a tightrope; he plays Cyrano as he scribbles love letters for a man whose obvious poverty never tarnishes his reputation as a millionaire (``We'll never have the money he hasn't got,'' says the narrator's father); he lusts after Rebecca, a Jewish whore who proudly recounts the story of Hanukkah for Polish scoffers, and helps to deliver her illegitimate baby. The collection has bite only when Bukiet humanizes Zalman the gravedigger, a dreamy philosopher, and when the narrator, hallucinating, believes himself to be Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, and others who persecuted the Jews. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810110311
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Melvin Jules Bukiet teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of Strange Fire, Signs and Wonders, After, and While the Messiah Tarries and editor of Nothing Makes You Free: Writings by Descendants of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.

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