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"His early novel Call It Sleep was his Ulysses. His late work An American Type is his Grapes of Wrath."--Thane Rosenbaum, Los Angeles Times This "glorious, evocative, literary novel for the ages" (Los Angeles Times) has finally taken its place within the great canon of American fiction. Set during the Great Depression, against a backdrop of New York's glimmering skyscrapers and Los Angeles's seedy motor courts, this autobiographical work concludes the unparalleled saga of Henry Roth, whose classic Call It Sleep, published in 1934, went on to become one of Time's 100 best American novels of the twentieth century. With echoes of Nathanael West and John Steinbeck, An American Type is a heartrending statement about American identity and the universal transcendence of love.
A sensitive boy's growing up is one strand in a complex web of his parent's tense life, their immigrant strangeness in a new land.
This "landmark of the American literary century" (Boston Globe) is finally published as one volume, appearing with a brilliant new introduction. Sixty years after the publication of his great modernist masterpiece, Call It Sleep, Henry Roth, a retired waterfowl farmer already in his late eighties, shocked the literary world with the announcement that he had written a second novel. It was called, he reported, Mercy of a Rude Stream, the title inspired by Shakespeare, and it followed the travails of one Ira Stigman, whose family had just moved to New York's Jewish Harlem in that "ominous summer of 1914." "It is like hearing that...J. D. Salinger is preparing a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye," the New York Times Book Review pronounced, while Vanity Fair extolled Roth's new work as "the literary comeback of the century." Even more astonishing was that Roth had not just written a second novel but a total of four chronologically linked works, all part of Mercy of a Rude Stream. Dying in 1995 at the age of eighty-nine, Roth would not live to see the final two volumes of this tetralogy published, yet the reappearance of Mercy of a Rude Stream, a fulfillment of Roth's wish that these installments appear as one complete volume, allows for a twenty-first-century public to reappraise this late-in-life masterpiece, just as Call it Sleep was rediscovered by a new generation in 1964. As the story unfolds, we follow the turbulent odyssey of Ira, along with his extended Jewish family, friends, and lovers, from the outbreak of World War I through his fateful decision to move into the Greenwich Village apartment of his muse and older lover, the seductive but ultimately tragic NYU professor Edith Welles. Set in both the fractured world of Jewish Harlem and the bohemian maelstrom of the Village, Mercy of a Rude Stream echoes Nabokov in its portrayal of sexual deviance, and offers a harrowing and relentless family drama amid a grand panorama of New York City in the 1910s and Roaring 20s. Yet in spite of a plot that is fraught with depictions of menace, violence, and intense self-loathing, Mercy of a Rude Stream also contains a cathartic, even redemptive, overlay as "provocative as anything in the chapters of St. Augustine" (Los Angeles Times), in which an elder Ira, haunted by the sins of his youth, communes with his computer, Ecclesias, as he recalls how his family's traditional piety became corrupted by the inexorable forces of modernity. As Ira finally decides to get "the hell out of Harlem," his Proustian act of recollection frees him from the ravages of old age, and suddenly he is in his prime again, the entire telling of Mercy his final pronouncement. Mercy of a Rude Stream is that rare work of fiction that creates, through its style and narration, a new form of art. Indeed, the two juxtaposed voices--one of the "little boys swimming in a sea of glory," the other of one of those same boys "in old age being rudely swept to sea"--creates a counterpoint, jarring yet oddly harmonious, that makes this prophetic American work such an lasting statement on the frailties of memory and the essence of human consciousness. Mercy of a Rude Stream: The Complete Novels includes A Star Shines Over Mt. Morris Park, A Diving Rock on the Hudson, From Bondage, and Requiem for Harlem.
Today, you are free to set aside the trappings of traditional dos and don'ts and be bold with your wedding style! Your Day, Your Way is a long-overdue, modern-day wedding planner that will guide you through the new reality of creating a memorable day that is unique and a true reflection of who you are.As a 21st-century bride, you're empowered to plan the wedding you want in a way that brides of decades past never were. This savvy guide helps you embrace your individuality and develop the confidence to plan the ceremony and celebration of a lifetime. This day is all about you. Now you can navigate the inevitable dilemmas and family politics and breeze through the whirlwind of planning by learning how to:* customize a wedding game plan that reflects your tastes* involve family members in the planning while still having the wedding you want* splurge creatively while sticking to your budget* design a unique sense of style and set the tone you want* and much more!Truly for today's bride, Your Day, Your Way highlights the excitement and autonomy of contemporary wedding planning and offers substance, style, and real advice that will add upscale panache to even the most laid-back ceremony.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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