The Book of Paradise
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By Itzik Manger
Translated by Robert Adler Peckerar
The raucously witty Yiddish classic about a Jewish Paradise afflicted by very human temptations and pains—a delightful new translation perfect for fans of Michael Chabon
Witty, playful and slyly profound, this story of a young angel expelled from Paradise is the only novel by one of the great Yiddish writers, which was written just before the outbreak of World War II.
As a result of a crafty trick, the expelled angel retains the memory of his previous life when he’s born as a Yiddish-fluent baby mortal on Earth. The humans around him plead for details of that other realm, but the Paradise of his mischievous stories is far from their expectations: a world of drunken angels, lewd patriarchs and the very same divisions and temptations that shape the human world.
Published here in a lively new translation by Robert Adler Peckerar, The Book of Paradise is a comic masterpiece from poet-satirist Itzik Manger that irreverently blurs the boundaries between ancient and modern and sacred and profane, where the shtetl is heaven, and heaven is the shtetl.