Lauded as the most profound novel of Jewish life ever written by an American, Call It Sleep seamlessly weaves together the searing pains and subtle joys of immigrant life in New York’s Lower East Side. It is the story of David Schearl, a dangerously imaginative little boy who arrives from Eastern Europe in 1907. Shock by shock, he is exposed to the blows - and occasional pleasures - of life in the crowded tenements.
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.
"Get over yourself!"
Discovered posthumously, this final novel by the author of the greatest American immigrant novel, Call It Sleep, reintroduces us to its protagonist, Roth’s alter ego, Ira, who abandons his controlling lover, Edith, in favor of a blond, aristocratic pianist at the artist colony Yaddo.