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SMALL CHANGE by Yehudit Hendel


A Collection of Stories

by Yehudit Hendel & translated by Dalia Bilu ; Barbara Harshav & Marsha Pomerantz

Pub Date: Dec. 20th, 2002
ISBN: 1-58465-279-9

A 1988 collection of eight moving stories by a Polish-born Israeli writer who has throughout her long career produced numerous wrenching portrayals “of the Holocaust, the displaced, the depressed, and the terminally ill.” Hendel’s intense focus on the despairing downward momentum of ordinary lives can become monotonous. But it’s displayed to splendid effect in stories about a compassionate woman who “enters” in imagination the life of a stranger struck down by a heart attack (“A Story with No Address”); a lonely woman’s inhibiting obsession with a brief, meaningless sexual encounter (“Fata Morgana Across the Street”); and, in the striking title piece, a wrongly jailed woman’s savage, desperate protest against her oppressors. In Hendel’s finest stories, the clinking of “small change” (i.e., flickering, often barely registered moments) becomes a roar that reverberates throughout her characters’ entire lives.