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Keeping Jewish Heritage Alive Through Literature
Bernard Otterman, Black Grass and other stories, Jewish Heritage, hardcover, $24.95

BLACK GRASS This collection of short stories inspired by the Holocaust and its aftermath marks the debut of a mature writer with unusual skill and vision. Black Grass will bring the author immediate recognition as a significant new voice in the literature of the Holocaust. And then in literature as a whole.

With the title story, Bernard Otterman turns to the rich tradition of magical realism to respond to the phenomenon of the Holocaust. The blackness that one day begins spreading out of the site of a death camp begins to envelope the world.

The author writes: ¡°As a child survivor, the Holocaust forced itself in the manner of an unwelcome relative into my writings .¡± His stories are set in the ghettos and camps and in the aftermath of the war against the Jews. The collection's dual perspectives, in the past and present, form a unity Dr. Otterman refers to as ¡°the ever - present past.¡±

Mr. Otterman worked patiently for ten years on this short story collection. Several stories have won competitions and have been published in literary magazines and quarterlies .

These finely crafted stories provide a riveting , tightly constructed reading experience. While taking his readers into uncharted regions, Otterman's authorial voice is a strong tether throughout, keeping the reader grounded. He writes with the deftness and moral complexity of Chaim Grade and Primo Levi, Ida Fink and Henryk Grynberg. When his imagination takes flight into the surrealistic regions, his work is akin to the crafted conceptual stories of Bruno Schulz and Franz Kafka.


International Initiative in the Literature