DEATH BY PASTRAMI
The garment center in New York City is an area of roughly 24 square blocks, and has been the heart of the fashion trade for a very long time. Most of the stories in this wonderful collection are set in the garment district, and are populated with folks who have clear memories of the old country and the way things were done there. Some stories are set in an old country village and have an almost mythic quality to them, but they also give a context to most of the characters in the garment district stories. The characters run the gamut from a frightening, dishonest ragman, to a stunningly beautiful seamstress, to a farmer with an ancient debt, to a man who can get you anything for a price, and so many more. The writing in these marvelous literary gems is nothing short of stunning. If one ever needs an example of powerful writing voice, one need look no further than this book. Leonard S. Bernstein paints stark, gritty, realistic pictures with spare and concrete language, and compelling dialogue. This is an absolute must-read for fans of the short story form.
Leonard S. Bernstein
University of New Orleans Press