<JohnGabree.com (Some) Writing>


The One-Star Jew
by David Evanier (North Point)

This is a collection of interconnected stories about a New York writer named Bruce Orav. He shares highlights of his life from his earliest passions and dreams (he imitated Jolson), through his first demonstration (an anti-civil defense protest he hoped would convince Selective Service of the sincerity of his pacifism), to the joys and sorrows of middle-age (as he struggles to love and accept his teenaged stepson). The device of telling all the stories in the same narrator's voice not only broadens Bruce’s character but also makes his descriptions of people and events resonate more deeply.

Evanier is a deceptively simple writer. With the ease and grace of a sidewalk dancer, he can, without missing a beat, slide from heartfelt realism to hilarious satire and back again. He reminds one of Racine, whose elegant, variegated prose is said to have been accomplished without the use of more than a few hundred words. These are moving stories about real people in familiar and believable circumstances.

A word about North Point Press. Fifteen dollars is a lot to pay a 225-page paperback, but this publisher is something special. North Point’s books are sewn and printed on acid-free paper, which extends their life span far beyond the planned obsolescence of most softcover books. They come in high-quality, European-style slipcovers, and for the most part the texts are error free. A catalogue of their unusually interesting and offbeat books is available from North Point Press, 850 Talbot, Berkeley, CA 94706. (1983)

[Note: North Point Press was founded in 1980 by real estate tycoon William Turnbull to publish small runs of original works and reprints neglected by the major houses. In 1982, the company was awarded a Carey-Thomas Honor Citation for its "enterprise in publishing new work and reviving work from the past in beautifully made editions." Some of the writers published by this distinguished house were Evan S. Connell, Wendell Berry, William Bronk, Guy Davenport, Steven Dixon, Ernest Gaines, Thom Gunn, Donald Hall, Michael Palmer, Leslie Scalpino, Gary Snyder, Gilbert Sorrentino and Paul Taylor. Seek them out. North Point closed in 1991.]

Order The One-Star Jew


<home> - <bio> - <creativity> - <links> - <writing>

I accept payment through PayPal!, the #1 online payment service!