The Shoemaker’s Tale, now available as an ebook.
From the New York Times Book Review
By ALISON CARB SUSSMAN
Mark Ari…seamlessly blends Jewish folk tales and mysticism with the universal quest for life’s meaning. When 4-year-old Meir’s parents are killed during a pogrom in 18th-century Warsaw, he and his 12-year-old sister, Yetta, must fend for themselves. After Yetta runs off with an official’s son, Meir’s uncle, a shoemaker, teaches the boy his trade. Later, the spiritually dissatisfied Meir forsakes his betrothed to go look for the Baal Shem Tov, the father of Hasidic Judaism. Though Meir doesn’t quite find him, he meets other memorable people (including a prophetic fishmonger who answers any question you want to ask for one fish) and makes footwear that transports its wearers in directions they may not want to go… “The Shoemaker’s Tale” is clever, tragicomic and highly imaginative…
Please consider buying a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, Google Play.
A Chagall painting brought to life, the novel traces the episodic journey of an orphaned 18th-century cobbler in search of the legendary Jewish rabbi and miracle worker, the Baal Shem Tov.
Painter-storyteller Ari’s novel is a true original, with roots in Jewish mysticism and Yiddish folklore … extravagant, charming, and deeply serious in its matter-of-fact mingling of moral history, prophecy and magic.–Kirkus Reviews
“The Shoemaker’s adventures are portrayed with an artist’s sensitivity, and we get an exquisite and humorous portrait of life [in] 18th-century Poland. The number of allegorical tales in the novel add to its stature…a promising start to what should be a fine literary career.” The Jerusalem Post
-Jerry Stern, author of , Making Shapely Fiction
Rich with the ironic wisdom of the great Yiddish folklorists. — The Miami Herald
A magical Tale…The Shoemaker’s Tale has the kind of blurbs on the back that we all dream about. I add my voice to that as well.”
-Leonard Lopate, “New York & Co.”
WNYC-AM (New York, NY)
“Ari’s provocative world of metaphors reflects…his awareness of the impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish psyche and the intricacies of modern Jewish humor.”
“Mark Ari’s well-shod first novel, The Shoemaker’s Tale, is a delight, a genuinely original look at Jewish life in the Eastern Europe of the eighteenth century. The critics have been enthusiastic…and so am I. It’s universal. I felt that immediately!”
-Ruth Jacobs, “The Jewish Home Show”
WEVD-AM (New York, NY)
“If ever there was a book that reads like a Chagall painting, this is it. The Shoemaker’s Tale is comic, surrealistic and engrossing. A wonderful story.”
-Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter