Kafka in Bronteland and Other Stories

Toby Press  2006

 
Tamar Yellin’s thirteen beautifully crafted short stories are united in their juxtaposition of the familiar with the alien. Many themes explore the displacement and longing that comes from having immigrated to a new land. The stories are primarily set in England where Yellin lives. 

The first story, “Return to Zion,” tells of a boy and his father and their perpetual plans for traveling to Israel. The title story is about a Jewish woman obsessed with the background of a man named Kafka who lives in her small Yorkshire village. “New Story for Nada” explores the relationship, in particular the contrasts and magnetism, between two women, one of whom is an immigrant to England. “An Italian Child,” one of the more powerful stories in the collection, tells of the longing of a man for his son, who has returned with his mother to her native Italy. 

Also the author of the novel The Genizah at the House of Shepher, Yellin is a master of style, beautifully crafting her prose with delicacy and deftness. Her voice is both yearning and rich, her themes both universal and foreign. Most of Yellin’s stories are informed with a sense of Judaica that enhances and empowers the complex characters depicted in this lovely collection.



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