In the meantime, I have been doing a little reading: the first few stories in KAFKA IN BRONTËLAND by Tamar Yellin and enjoying them enormously. They have a yearning quality and also a tart hunour which I like. Here is a quote from the other Mr. Perella (the phone has just rung):
'My mother put on her best voice: Mr. Perela had a deeply refined accent, and she was a snob. On the same grounds she was reluctant to reveal much. Our own genealogy was hardly in Debrett, and she was not going to ask him if he was Jewish.'So far the common theme seems to be the search for identity. Each character has a feeling of restlessness and not belonging; and yet seems powerless to do anything about it. They seem like exotic creatures trapped in the dreariness of northern England at the end of the twentieth century; softly padding about this cage of the humdrum growling and questioning: why am I here? where do I belong? what can I do to get out of here? Each of the characters is Jewish, and although aspects of this culture inform everything that they do, there are elements here that are universal. This feeling of displacement, after all, affects many: I know few people who live where they were born and where their parents and grandparents were born. All humans have a tendency to migrate - after the hunt or after better land. It is why genealogy is so popular. We are all fascinated by our roots.