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A.M. Klein's reputation as a writer on his poetry and to a lesser extent on his remarkable poetic novel The Second Scroll. But he also wrote many short stories over a period of more than a quarter of a century. Until now few people have been aware of their existence; many exist only in manuscript form, and most of those that were published appeared in magazines that were not readily accessible to the general reading public. This volume bring them together.
Klein's range of themes and styles in his short fiction, as in his poetry and in his journalistic writing, is broad. He draws on his Jewish experience, focusing on legends, festivals, and ceremonies, well-known character types, and familiar aspects of Jewish life – in the synagogue, in the home, and on the streets. Klein was not limited, however, by his Jewish concerns, for he also wrote social and political satire and parodies of the detective story and of literary debates. His pervasive sense of humour is often closely associated with his feeling for the macabre, producing a quality of black comedy that is distinctly Kleinian.
The stories in this volume are an invaluable addition to the canon of Klein's works and their publication will extend and reinforce his already considerable reputation.