Item description for The Owl and Other Stories by John Auerbach...
This is the first collection of John Auerbach's stories to appear in English. The stories drawn upon his years at sea, on a kibbutz in Israel, as an alienated man in America, survival of the war and the Holocaust.
PEN/UNISCO Prize 1993
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 5.54" Height: 1.16" Weight: 1.18 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2003
Publisher The Toby Press, LLC
ISBN 1902881796 ISBN13 9781902881799
Reviews - What do customers think about The Owl and Other Stories?
Quite a trip Aug 19, 2007
This is a collection of short stories written of Auerbach's post-WWII life as a seaman, that includes life on dry land in various countries in Europe, the US and at home on an Israeli kibbutz. The descriptions of the duties and conditions of a mariner's lot are captivating, but the ship is really a vehicle for studying the lives of souls he meets along the way.
The title story is a perfect opener, with the sudden discovery of an owl on board. How did it come to alight on their ship? Where did it come from? Did it choose the ship as refuge from the Stromboli volcano they passed a while back? After causing much fascination and debate among the crew, it is finally, mercifully granted freedom as the ship nears the Calabrian coast.
Auerbach has a deep cerebral style, with a philosophical and psychological angle. He manages to command full understanding efficiently with dialogue - with others, his dog Mississippi, or with himself, internally. The narratives can run a little on the dark side, but with sympathy and a sense of humor. He is somewhat of a sick ____, in a good way. Sort of like Bukowski with a vocation and better manners.
He has a rare ability to keep the reader in bondage, to see what he sees and experience it all alongside of him. Once through with the book, like the owl, you hesitate to move on. There are reportedly several of his publications in Europe and Israel - I hope they become available in the US soon. He is a unique and masterful author who should be better known, albeit posthumously.