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Angel Wagenstein: Isaac’s Torah: Concerning the Life of Isaac Jacob Blumenfeld Through Two World Wars, Three Concentration Camps and Five Motherlands

(Fiction, 304 pp. Bulgarian, 2000; English translation, 2008)

Tragedy is overlaid with Jewish humor as an affable tailor survives war and nationalism in Central Europe between World War I and the death of Stalin. This darkly ironic novel, peppered with Yiddish jokes, fables from the Kolodetz shtetl, and the unorthodox comments of sometimes atheist Rabbi Shmuel Ben-David, offers profound insights into life’s absurdities.

  • Review: Kirkus
  • Review by Rayyan-Shawaf, Washington City Paper, October 17-23, 2008
  • Review by D.G. Myers, A Commonplace Blog, November 6, 2008
  • Essay by Akiva Gottlieb, “Schlepics: The Fiction of Angel Wagenstein,” Nation, January 28, 2009