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A Face in the Cloud

Yossl Birstein
Old Noah Naftali Tirshbein has come to Jerusalem from the U.S. to write the story of his love for a French dancer who many years ago swore to follow him from Poland via China to the U.S. He is also encumbered with the estate of the dead crook Shalom Bitman, who empowered him to find an heir to his fortune and to salvage the lost honor of Yiddish literature.
Tirshbein and the bequest become the focus of attention for a number of old, impoverished Yiddish artists who live out their past in the streets of Jerusalem, fighting dead battles.
Memories become entangled and countless tragicomic characters move between time and space, walking a tightrope between life and death, desperately seeking to engrave their memory on the culture of an indifferent nation.

Birstein is a born storyteller.
Allgemeine Judische Wochenzeitung

Anecdotal stories are sprinkled over his novel like icing sugar... Jerusalem is alive, especially in the street scenes with beggars, magicians, singers, players and yeshiva students.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Birstein's great achievement is to have brought Yiddish culture into our lives with love, a smile and wisdom, thus releasing it in some way from the tragic emotional weight that has been entangled with it since the Holocaust.
Author Amela Einat 

A virtuoso observation of the comic and the grotesque, A Face in the Cloud is an elegy about the Jews of Europe and the destruction of a culture.
Critic Menahem Perry

English translation available (for publishers only)
A Face in the Cloud
Title A Face in the Cloud
Author’s Last Name Birstein
Author's First Name Yossl
Language(s) German, Chinese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1991
No. Pages 214 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Panim Be-Anan
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Zurich/Hamburg, Arche, 1993
Chinese: Hefei, Anhui Literature & Art, 1998

Selected Stories
Italian: Florence, La Giuntina, 1996
English (And So Is the Bus: Jerusalem Stories): Takoma Park, MD, Dryad Press, 2016