About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Mercy of a Rude Stream: Volume 1. A Star ...
Publisher: St. Martins Press, New York
Publication Date: 1994
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
Ira Stigman, an immigrant boy, suffers a cruel Americanization process from 1914 through 1921 in a novel that deals with themes of Prohibition, anti-Semitism, racism, and the violence of sexuality. By the author of Call It Sleep. 50,000 first printing.From Publishers Weekly:
Henry Roth's literary reputation would be secure on the strength of his remarkable first novel, Call It Sleep , published in 1934 and but largely unknown until it appeared in paperback in 1964 and became an instant classic. Roth's silence in the intervening years has been broken only by a collection of his shorter pieces, Shifting Landscape . This novel, then, is a signal event, especially since its protagonist, Ira Stigman, is clearly the same young boy who served as Roth's fictional alter ego in the first book, and since it begins roughly where the earlier novel ended--in the teeming immigrant slums of New York City during the first decades of the 20th century, a time and place that Roth captures with pungent language and palpable immediacy. Roth's long struggle with this material is reflected in first-person passages interpolated into the narrative in which the now elderly Ira addresses his word processor (called Ecclesias), ruminates about the difficulties that stilled his pen, and makes references to an earlier version of this work, which he is rewriting as he goes along. He laments the crisis of identity, the "loss of affirmation" and the self-loathing that crippled his imaginative powers, events that he touches on in the third-person narrative. Again we encounter the violent, penny-pinching father, the supportive mother, the loutish relatives. Ira's memories range over family strife, his school days, the dangers of the street, the disruption of WW I, and they end--somewhat abruptly--after the book's best extended scenes, set in a fancy grocery store where the adolescent Ira works after high school. This is the most forceful part of the book, a sustained, controlled piece of writing that masterfully evokes the temper of the times--the advent of Prohibition, the casual bigotry and racism of blue-collar workers and veterans--in the process of limning a group of memorable character portraits. Since this is to be the first volume of six, the story ends ambiguously, after repeatedly hinting at but never getting to "the disastrous impairment of the psyche" and "the accident . . . the terrible deformation that was its consequence." Thus it is reasonable to think that this novel may be more satisfying when read as part of the six-volume whole. BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web sites. If you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged) or if the order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business days.
Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.
accepted by seller