Kaf­ka in Bron­te­land and Oth­er Stories

Tamar Yellin
  • Review
October 26, 2011
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.

Discussion Questions