IT HAPPENED IN PINSK by Arthur Yorinks


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The latest Yorinks-Egielski parable is a wry drollery that doesn't need the flapcopy reference to Gogol. A single page of text--and the accompanying prop-perfect bourgeois interior--says almost all: ""A shoe salesman, Irv Irving, and his wife Irma lived in a comfortable apartment on Nevsky Avenue. Together they led a peaceful life. Good food. A telephone. They had everything. Did Irv care? No."" Irv, envying this person and that, one day (""March 19, at breakfast"") finds his head missing. Wearing Irma's pillow-case replacement, he's taken for a fugitive criminal, a long-lost relative, his best friend's pet hate. ""But fate twists."" (Ah, lovely, throwaway line.) In a shop window, under a hat, is Irv's head. And, abandoning the unfortunate replacement, he makes off with it. . . to fix it in place (symbolically?) in front of his own mirror. ""After this""--perforce--""Irv was not known to complain, hardly ever again."" A lesson whose durability is one of its charms--and so matter-of-factly fantastic that children won't doubt it happened in Pinsk.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1984
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux