Booknotes from Our Staff

Life on Sandpaper by Yoram Kaniuk, trans. by Anthony Berris (Dalkey Archive)

Part of the Hebrew Literature Series, Kaniuk’s “fictional autobiography” takes place in the prosperous creativity of 1950s New York. Kaniuk arrives in America, perhaps a bit shell-shocked after being wounded in Israel’s 1948 war, and swan dives into a dizzying collision of worlds: post-war Europe and America, Israel, jazz, visual art, poets and novelists, New York’s Harlem scene, and the Yiddish culture of the Lower East Side. The narrative is quick and direct. The reader is helplessly pulled through by this magnetic, first person narrator who is easily unapologetic in his dysfunction. But the pay-off is spellbinding. A miraculous mixture of escapism and confrontation, Life on Sandpaper is a rich view of a small portion of one man’s journey. –Shannon

BOOKNOTES, the book review of THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.


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