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Jonah and Sarah

Jewish Stories of Russia and America

David Shrayer-Petrov

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Belletristik/Erzählende Literatur


From the deceptively simple narrative (Apple Cider Vinegar, Hurricane Bob) to the surrealist story (Dismemberers) and the magical tale (Jonah and Sarah and Lanskoy Road), the tempo fluctuates, but throughout, Shrayer-Petrov seamlessly preserves familiar voices. The stories have a genuine feel of the setting and epoch—the Russian stories work as narratives of everyday life, while the American stories offer an accurate sense of an émigré’s alienation.

Like all good works of fiction, these stories take on a mythic quality and transcend time and place. Each carries and communicates to the reader an aura of mystery, the enigma of love, and a meeting of the Jewish past and present. Whether he invokes lyrical dialogue, gentle irony, or sharp polemical discourse, Shrayer-Petrov shows that he is a powerful presence in Russian and Jewish literature. For those interested in fiction about new immigrants to America or in the psychology of Jews in the two decades before the Soviet Union’s collapse, this collection is a must read.

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fiction, Jewish studies, short stories