From Hunger (Hardback)
  • From Hunger (Hardback)
Hardback Published: 31/05/1993
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When God tells Levidow to buy a big blue car and get out of town, he dares to think that his suffering might be over. Instead he begins a journey that will put him out on the open highway with a reincarnation of himself as a much younger man, a hideous woman, and an oversupply of Dr. Brown's soda. His is just one of the journeys undertaken by the characters of From Hunger. With wit and irony, Gerald Shapiro leads us from a London park to the streets of Chicago, from the Vietnam War Memorial to a New York art gallery, as his characters search for sustenance in a world full of hunger. In a stroke of brilliance, solitary Altshuler, the failing, forty-ish shoe designer of the title story, invents an open-toed, stiletto-heeled hiking boot that makes him rich. But money doesn't satisfy his unnamed longing. When his 380-pound Uncle Phil comes to visit, Altshuler learns that there are cravings even greater than his own. "I been hungry my whole life, " Uncle Phil says, as he eats his way through barbecued ribs and bags of corn chips, toward an inevitable finale with a meatball sandwich. During his annual research trip to London in "Golders Green, " Ted Lustig, an inept scholar, searches for purpose in the life of an obscure German writer whose greatest achievement was his own suicide. Lustig is obsessed with the writer whose brilliant failure mimics his own. But when he meets the aging Anna Peltzman, he begins to realize that meaning isn't always revealed in dramatic moments, but rather in far more puzzling ways. Lenny Schrank is inexplicably drawn to the city of his father's youth in "The Community Seder, " where he happens upon a mysterious synagogue filled with faces from his past. "Let anyone who is hungry, come in and eat, " chants the congregation. What Lenny finds at the Passover celebration is an exquisite recognition of all that is missing from his life - and a brief moment of community. With wonderfully idiosyncratic characters and deft use of detail, Gerald Shapi

Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826208637

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