Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another author I have just discovered, and am so glad I did, is Adèle Geras. I've been aware of her name, seen some of her books, but had never read anything by her. I just finished a most delightful books of stories by her, and can't wait to read more of her work! Here's what Booklist said about My Grandmother's Stories: A Collection of Jewish Folktales.

“Like all good stories in the Yiddish tradition, the pleasure of Geras’ collection comes as much from the telling as from what happens. These are stories within stories: the narrator remembers herself as a young child hearing them from her grandmother, as they cooked, hung up laundry, prepared for the Sabbath, or cleaned house for Passover. This framing of the stories emphasizes their continuing pleasure across generations; and customs, idioms, traditions, even recipes that the Jews brought with them from Eastern Europe are an unobtrusive part of the telling.”

Each story was inspired by Geras's grandmother, and each one teaches a lesson in the kind and endearing way a grandmother would teach her beloved grandchildren. This collection was illustrated by Anita Lobel, whose illustrations were as delightful as the stories.

This book won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in 1991. I read it for Callista's Jewish Literature Challenge, and it was a wonderful find.


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