Fabulous Small Jews: Stories by Joseph Epstein
Published: 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company
After reading a few pages of the first story of this collection, I immediately thought of one of my favorite writers of all time: Mordecai Richler. Though writing about different eras for the most part, both he and Joseph Epstein have made older, grumpy Jewish men characters with whom we can all identify.
Epstein’s collection, Fabulous Small Jews, is comprised of eighteen stories that to me all had something to do with loneliness. The main characters in the stories — those grumpy old men — have all led fairly successful and prosperous lives, but in their retirement it appears that they truly begin to understand what has been missing. Not all of them are likeable, but they are relatable – even though all of the men are Jewish, religion plays only a small part in any of the stories.
My favorite story of the collection is “Don Juan Zimmerman”, a story about rediscovering love at any age.