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Noir Fiction Fills in the Babel Blanks


URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/noir_fiction_fills_in_the_babel_blanks_20031107

"King of Odessa" by Robert Rosenstone (Northwestern, $24.95). In an impressive effort of literary boldness, historian Robert Rosenstone fills in some of the blanks in Issac Babel's life and work in a first novel, "King of Odessa." He writes as though he has recovered a lost Babel manuscript, imagining what one of Babel's final years might have been like. Other than a few postcards sent to his family, no records remain of the summer and autumn of 1936, when Babel, then 42, returned to Odessa, the city of his birth.

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