OVERRIDE

Shlepping the Exile

A Novel

Michael Wex

St. Martin's Press

Svelte and supple as unleavened bread, Shlepping the Exile rends the shmaltz from Jewish fiction and replaces it with a pound of real flesh.

It's the story of Yoine Levkes, a hassidic boy of the Canadian prairies, his refugee parents, and the Jewish community of Coalbanks, Alberta in the late 1950s. Confronted with dying people, an ailing culture, the perils of near-orphanhood and the allures of Sabina Mandelbroit, whose family doesn't keep the Sabbath, Yoine can no longer tell whether he's a human being or a loot-bag of conflicting traditions. He's too religious to be 'normal,' too 'normal' not to realize this, and too much of a kid to be able to make any sense of it.  Shlepping the Exile is Michael Wex's inside portrait of orthodox, post-Holocaust Judaism in a place that it never expected to be.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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1
 
 
If only my father had had the courage to throw back his leonine, Talmudic head in what the goyim, the ethical goyim, would call a frenzy of legalistic rage, point his forefinger out the door, and say unto me with the ossified implacability of all the ages, “Avek fun mayn tir, depart this house, you jazz singer, you,” while my mother sat weeping in the corner, smashing every Yossele Rosenblatt 78 in his cantorial record collection;
If only a shelfful of Talmud had caved in upon me one day, leaving my goyisher kop forever addled;
If only Tradition had barfed
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REVIEWS

Praise for Shlepping the Exile

"Yoine is smart—smarter, really, than a character of his age and demeanor has any right to be, but it’s his quick-witted running commentary that carries the novel . . .Wex [excels] at building incongruous characters who demonstrate the counterintuitive complexities of Jewish life. . . Wex's humorous writing is crisp." --Kirkus

"Shlepping the Exile is a funny, often poignant, presentation of Jewish life in a place with few Jews, and of a young boy navigating that place and time with eyes that are open much wider than his parents had ever imagined. Wex captures it all with wit and with great authenticity." –Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"Partly old world, partly new, born to parents who have lost virtually everything, Yoine is an appealing creation."Publishers Weekly

"Yoine is smart—smarter, really, than a character of his age and demeanor has any right to be, but it’s his quick-witted running commentary that carries the novel . . .Wex [excels] at building incongruous characters who demonstrate the counterintuitive complexities of Jewish life. . . Wex's humorous writing is crisp." --Kirkus

"Shlepping the Exile is a funny, often poignant, presentation of Jewish life in a place with few Jews, and of a young boy navigating that place and time with eyes that are open much wider than his parents had ever imagined. Wex captures it all with wit and with great authenticity." –Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"Partly old world, partly new, born to parents who have lost virtually everything, Yoine is an appealing creation."Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Michael Wex

  • MICHAEL WEX was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and later moved to Toronto. Wex is the author of two other works of fiction, The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist, and The Frumkiss Family Business and three works of non-fiction: Born to Kvetch; Just Say Nu; and How to Be a Mensch (and Not a Shmuck). He is also well known as a speaker on matters relating to Yiddish language and culture and more general aspects of Judaism. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.

  • Michael Wex
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Available Formats and Book Details

Shlepping the Exile

A Novel

Michael Wex

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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