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)
|Title|| ||A Face in the Cloud|
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Birstein|
|Author's First Name|| ||Yossl|
|Language(s)|| ||German, Chinese|
|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
Italian: Florence, La Giuntina, 1996
English (And So Is the Bus: Jerusalem Stories): Takoma Park, MD, Dryad Press, 2016