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Sex, skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish by Norman Ravvin

paperplates books found immediate success with its first title, Cary Fagan's novel The Doctor's House, which received unanimous praise from reviewers and quickly went into a second printing. Its second title, Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish, a collection of short stories by Norman Ravvin, received just as warm a reception. (Even while in manuscript, the collection proved to be a winner, with an Emerging Artists Award, established by the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation.)

Read what the critics had to say:

Absurdist, funny, tragic -- Norman Ravvin's short stories are exhilarating in their originality. The result of a startling alchemy, they combine old-fashioned fictional values with an off-kilter modernist technique, bringing together the dark old world of Europe and the bright new world of America.

In the title story, a Yiddish typewriter salesman and would-be writer finds unwanted inspiration in the voluptuous Lola. In Expatriate, a businessman wanders through Moscow in search of a painting stolen from his family during the war. And in Doomed Cinema, two New York agents try to buy a historic movie house and move it to an American theme park. The other stories in this remarkable collection are equally surprising and eerily delightful.

ISBN 0-9680457-1-5 / 80 pp / $12 plus $2 S/H

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