cover image Musical Moment: And Other Stories

Musical Moment: And Other Stories

Yehoshua Kenaz. Steerforth Press, $19.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-883642-18-1

Written with great sensuality and passion, these potent stories portray young misfits wandering through a nightmarish adult world. In seamless, rhythmic prose, Israeli novelist Kenaz (The Way to the Cats) portrays the artists as young men in four stories of boys coming of age against a subtly rendered political backdrop of pre-independence Israel. Torment takes many forms: one boy endures the brutal display of a three-legged chicken; another is shown his sister consorting with British soldiers; for a third, playing the violin becomes torture, because he cannot ``hear the whispers of another's heart'' or ``understand the murmured implications.'' In the last story--with a stunningly imaginative ending--a detached adolescent narrator witnesses the evolution into young adulthood of his peers, one of whom, ``a savage young animal'', is made into a hero against his will, even as the narrator sadly observes, ``We've all been defeated... in a war whose outcome was determined in advance.'' (May)