Stories By Joan Leegant (224 Pages)Publisher: W.W. Norton, 2003
Taking its title from the Yiddish proverb "Even an hour in Paradise is worthwhile," Joan Leegant's starting debut features ten outstandingly original and prize-winning stories. Contemporary and fresh, these are stories that mine the Jewish tradition with an edge. Provocative and offbeat, in settings from Jerusalem to Queens, from the outskirts of Hollywood to Sarasota, Florida, An Hour in Paradise gives us characters who soldier on, despite the odds, in search of divine and human connection, aware that even a glimmer that single heavenly hour is worthwhile. By turns poignant and comic, unflinching and compassionate, with a dose of fabulist daring, the stories in An Hour in Paradise explore the dangers and unforeseen rewards of our most fundamental longings.