Friday, May 27, 2011
Chess players, old writers, dysfunctional angels are among the characters which inhabit the stories contained in Blue Has No South by Alex Epstein.
The 119 stories contained in the collection are set in all corners of the globe: Jerusalem, Berlin, Prague, Paris and London. Some stories in the collection are no more than three paragraphs in the telling, others three sentences. This for example is the story entitled “May Equations”.
“In May she turned eighty seven. Her oldest grandson helped her cut her fingernails. At night, for the first time in many years, she dreamed in Yiddish.”
The best way to read these stories is to dip in and has been compared by critics to a collection of poetry, which because of its lyricism is rather apt.
In a recent interview Epstein said he hoped that the reader would read and re-read the stories, each time gaining some new insight or understanding.
For his imagery and mystery Epstein has been compared to Kafka and Borges both of whom make appearances in the collection.
The one negative or confusing or intriguing aspect of the collection is that the title a story may have little or no connection to the story itself.
Blue Has No South is the first collection of short stories by Israeli writer Alex Epstein to be translated into English.