THE MARRIAGE BROKER by Irving Meites

THE MARRIAGE BROKER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on stories by Tashrak, a Yiddish writer, these are the reflections of Shulem, the Shadchen. To those familiar with ghetto and pseudo ghetto life, the role of the Shadchen or marriage broker is incontestable in its importance. In Shulem's accounts of mismatches, introductions, frustrations, falsified intentions and qualifications, the character of the Shadchen clearly emerges against the lively world of the lower east side, Brownsville, and the New Jersey resorts. It is a world which is fading, but well within the memory of many readers. And Shulem is the prototype of that fading ghetto. Warm, wise, humorous, and active he cuts corners when necessary, approaching his career with the zeal of a promoter- and the breadth of a Talmud student. His attempts often end in disaster, as often in riotous success, and through all, he perseveres, compulsive in his desire to domesticate. Rarely does he invoke the desire to laugh aloud. Here is no Hyman Kaplan, but rather a man whose every maneuver is marked with gentle irony, pathos, and a fatalistic shrug which is not quite laughter. Shulem is a paradox; a dealer in potions and spells, a realist, a schemer and a lover of justice, a mercenary and a philanthropist. The nostalgia and humor of his plight may well earn The Marriage Broker considerable popularity.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1960
Publisher: Putnam