SICILIAN STREET by John Kafka

SICILIAN STREET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A strange little novel having to do with a Sicilian street in the slums of East Harlem and its ethnocentric members. Crammed with mythological lore and transplanted nationalism, this tale of Peri, daughter of the revered puppeteer, has an almost medieval atmosphere, with much drinking of wine and goat's milk and eating of pomegranates. Sileno di Enna, has 300 puppets representing the splendor of the Middle Ages,- knights, ladies, dragons, suits of armor, and in each night's performance, he reenforces the link of these transplanted people with Sicily. Peri, anxious to Americanize her people, opens a drugstore in the midst of their miniature homeland, and attempts to sell the puppets after her father's death, with the aid of George Northill, manager of a mortgage and loan department, with whom she has fallen in love. Before this is brought to pass, the Sicilian street delves into some weird, traumatic sacrificial rites, bonfires, dances and duels -- and Peri slips into deep coma...Somehow, here's fantasy that never takes on the cloak of reality.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1949
Publisher: Coward, McCann