Matse Landsman and the Capital of the World: New York Stories
Matse Landsman and the Capital of the World is set in New York City. Its stories are based on Yiddish tales and folklore, an area of interest to the author. The book recounts episodes in the life and times of Matse Landsman and his remarkable wife Bima. Matse is a high City official and advisor to many successive mayors. Bima supports him in his endeavors but is also an avid rooftop gardener and personality. The book begins with the hilarious story, "Cat'n Kugel," involving Matse and Bima's cat, Mozl. Bima accuses the animal of eating a delicious noodle dish called a kugel. Other stories cheerfully demonstrate the influence Matse and his wife had on New York City life, for example "Why Taxicabs are Painted Yellow." Folklore is of paramount importance in the story, "The Shretele of 75th Street." Among the funniest stories in the book, "The Mae West Memorial Compost Heap," tells how Bima brought her heightened admiration for the great and outspoken movie star into her and Matse's life. The book finishes with an uplifting, good-natured tale, "Prune Juice, Yarzhite and Mishegoss," showing how reflections on life and death play such an important role in our lives.
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