Margaret Birstein, Hana Infar, and Robert Manaster, trans.
Dryad Press. 144 pages. Trade paperback $15.95.
Glancing at these twenty-one vignettes by a renowned Israeli storyteller, one might be tempted to call Yossel Birstein a minimalist. However, that appellation might suggest that Birstein pared his compact prose gems down from larger constructions. More likely, he simply knew when enough was enough. How long is a bus ride? How long is the stretch between stops? How much human interaction can occur? How much be remembered and related? How much does a reader need? Birstein’s sharp, laconic focus fraught with well-chosen details, wit, brief ruminations, and lingering questions produces tiny masterpieces of cultural insight and human yearning. . . .
The full review can be found on the Jewish Book Council website: And So Is the Bus: Jerusalem Stories by Yossel Birstein