The Shunra and the Schmetterling (Paperback)

By Peter Cole, Yoel Hoffmann

New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811215671, 128pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 2004

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Shunra is Aramaic for cat. Schmetterling is German for butterfly. In Yoel Hoffmann's new book, these and numerous other creatures, cultures, and languages meet in a magical shimmering hymn to childhood. Hoffmann traces his hero's developing consciousness of the ways-and-wonders of the world as though he were peering through a tremendous kaleidoscope: all that was perceived, all that is remembered, is rendered in fluid fragments of color and light. With remarkable delicacy and sweep, Hoffmann captures childhood from the amazed inside out, and without the backward-looking wash of grown-up sentiment. Instead, the boy's deadpan registration of the human comedy around him is offered up as strangely magical fact. Beautifully translated by Peter Cole, The Shunra & the Schmetterling is fiction for lovers of poetry and poetry for lovers of fiction--a small marvel of a book, and one of the author's finest to date.