The University of Wisconsin Press



Stories of an Imaginary Childhood
Melvin Jules Bukiet

Library of American Fiction

Melvin Jules Bukiet . . . writing about an extinct world he never knew and never will, appears to have devised a new and haunting way of recalling what must never be forgotten."—Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune

In Stories of an Imaginary Childhood  Melvin Jules Bukiet inscribes the world that might have been his own if not for the catastrophe that destroyed most of Jewish life in eastern Europe during the 1940s. Set before the Holocaust in the tiny Polish shtetl of Proszowice, each interconnected story follows the young protagonist through the pleasures and humiliations of childhood and the rites of manhood, as he fights against historical, social, and psychological forces that threaten to pull him down

"Bukiet proves that he is an expert at the [short story] form. His stories lift and soar, encompassing a world of truth in just a few pages. His characters have flesh and life. . . . Bukiet's topics are varied and universal: first love, growing up, trying to get along with people who are different. Each of these is approached with great humor and a deep respect for life experience."—Daniel Neman, Richmond News Leader

"Jewish-American fiction of a new order, one able to bring the best that has been thought and said about voice and literary texture to the service of a world with richer meaning and a deeper resonance."—Sanford Pinsker, Midstream

"Bukiet is enchanting, original, and thoroughly irresistible in any disguise. Stories of an Imaginary Childhood is an extraordinary achievement, an immensely enjoyable collection of truly remarkable tales."—Susan Miron, Miami Herald

  • Winner of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Best Jewish-American Fiction
  • Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction

Melvin Jules Bukiet teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of Strange Fire, Signs and Wonders, After, and While the Messiah Tarries and editor of Nothing Makes You Free: Writings by Descendants of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.

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Cover for Stories of an Imaginary Childhood.

August 2002

204 pp.      6 x 9

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