OVERRIDE

Call It Sleep

A Novel

Henry Roth, with an Introduction by Alfred Kazin

Picador

When Henry Roth published Call It Sleep, his first novel, in 1934, it was greeted with considerable critical acclaim. But in that dark Depression year, books were hard to sell, and the novel quickly dropped out of sight, as did its twenty-eight-year-old author. Only with its paperback publication in 1964 did this novel receive the recognition it deserves—and still enjoys.

Call It Sleep, the story of David Schearl, the “dangerously imaginative” child coming of age in the slums of New York, is a novel of Jewish life full of the pain and honesty of family relationships. It holds the distinction of being the first paperback ever to receive a front-page review in The New York Times Book Review, and it proceeded to sell millions of copies both in the United States and around the world. This edition includes an Introduction by Alfred Kazin and an Afterword by Hana Wirth-Nesher.

REVIEWS

Praise for Call It Sleep

"One of the few genuinely distinguished novels written by a twentieth-century American." --Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review

"Arguably the most distinguished work of fiction ever written about immigrant life...Surely the most lyrically authentic novel in American literature about a young boy’s coming to consciousness." --Lis Harris, The New Yorker

"Roth has done for the East Side Jew what James T. Farrell is doing for the Chicago Irish in the Studs Lonigan trilogy.... When his characters are speaking pure Yiddish, Roth translates it into great beauty....The final chapters in the book have been compared to the Nighttown episodes of Joyce’s Ulysses; the comparison is apt." --John Chamberlain, The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Henry Roth, with an Introduction by Alfred Kazin

  • Henry Roth (1906-1995) was born in the Austro- Hungarian province of Galitzia. He probably landed on Ellis Island in 1909 and began his life in New York on the Lower East Side, in the slums where Call It Sleep is set. He is the author as well of Shifting Landscapes, a collection of essays, and the Mercy of a Rude Stream tetralogy.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Call It Sleep

A Novel

Henry Roth, with an Introduction by Alfred Kazin

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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