These two quietly stunning novellas mark the American debut of a writer of international importance. Publishers WeeklyIn kaleidoscopic fragments, Hoffmann refracts Jewish popular lore and folk wisdom through a postmodernist prism, brightening his prose with snatches of verse, songs, diary excerpts, letters, ominous dreams, lush erotic passages and Yiddish sayings. The Book of Joseph tells the tragic story of a widowed Jewish tailor and his son in 1930s Berlin. Katschen gives an astounding child's-eye view of a boy orphaned in the new state of Israel. The novellas radiate the original poetry of Hoffmann's atomized hypnotic language, which Rosmarie Waldrop has called utterly enchantingit's like nothing else.