WANDERING STAR by Sholom Aleichem


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A famous authority on Jewish folklore with the first of his full-length novels from the Yiddish to reach our desk. Two volumes of short stories, folk tales, have introduced him to a considerable though specialized English-speaking audience. This may widen that audience, though we still feel the appeal is specialized, the mood and emotional tempo and language all far from the accepted Anglo-Saxon pattern of romance. The story opens in a Bessarabian village, where the Jewish cantor has just discovered the disappearance of his daughter Reizel -- and the community's Croesus the disappearance of his youngest son, Leibel, at the very time when the visiting Yiddish theatrical troupe has pulled up stakes and departed. Years follow- the young lovers are separated by their kidnappers and each becomes a famous star. Their paths almost meet in Vienna, in Paris, in London. Then in New York, after maturity has brought them fame and surface romantic advanture, Reizel is being starred in New York's Broadway theatre district and Leibel in the Yiddish theatre, both under different names- and both with troth plighted to their co-stars. Just in time, their paths cross again- and fame and commitments forgotten, they meet and are united in marriage. Familiar pattern- yes- but the unravelling of the story involves a background of itinerant players across Europe- and a somewhat inconclusive groping to sustain certain traditions of a race. Not for the general public.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1952
Publisher: Crown