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A Book that Was Lost: and Other Stories
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A Book that Was Lost: and Other Stories

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966, S. Y. Agnon is considered the towering genius of modern Hebrew literature for his hard-edged modernism and soft-hued imagery. With this new collection of stories, the English-speaking audience has, at long last, access to the rich and brilliantly multifaceted fictional world of one of the great writers of this century. These s ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 21st 1996 by Schocken (first published 1970)
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Yair Ben-Zvi
Jan 30, 2012 Yair Ben-Zvi rated it really liked it
I read a few Agnon stories when I took a Modern Hebrew Literature class in college and was interested in reading more of his work (I loved and still love reading the literature of nobel prize for literature winners though this hasn't always panned out positively for me). And though i was interested i had a lingering doubt in my mind wondering whether or not agnon actually deserved the award, not that he would have been the first writer undeserving of the nobel -cough- t.s. eliot -cough- to recei ...more
J.M. Hushour
I first encountered Agnon a number of years ago. At the time, I was taking courses in Hebrew and when I casually mentioned my discovery of Agnon to my teacher, she stiffened in reverence, impressed that her only goy had happened upon this gem of Hebrew literature.
I remember really enjoying Agnon, finding his peculiar, borderline surreal approach to religion and faith, very appealing. This time around it's a larger, expanded edition of his short stories, many of which had not been included in the
I forgot that I'm not intellectual enough to read Agnon.
Aug 20, 2008 Monty rated it really liked it
These stories, by a Nobel Prize winner, "span the lifetime of a quintessential wandering Jew--born in Buczacz, Poland, living in Germany, and finally settling in Jerusalem--and they bring to life the full gamut of the modern Jewish experience in fiction."

At first I expected to read just a few of the stories, but as I finished one, I wanted to read another. So I wound up reading them all and enjoying the way Agnon weaves stories, often with a subtle tongue-in-cheek, dry sense of humor. If you wan
Jun 23, 2014 Maria rated it it was amazing
The stories are touching and the language is exquisite (I had the privilege to read it in Hebrew).
Jim Talbott
Agnon is absolutely brilliant. This collection of short stories illustrates the depth, humor, and genius of his work... I highly recommend the entire book but especially the handful of novella length stories. If you only know Agnon from Agunot, the Handkerchief, and The Lady and the Peddler, I think you've missed out on much of his best work... The above stories are all important for historical and thematic reasons, but you'll likely have a lot more fun with other stories in the collection.
Mar 23, 2013 William rated it really liked it
Agnon deserves to be better known. He has an very individual style, which comes over in English translation as being very formal. But once you get used to that, you will find many amazing scenes and characters in his stories and novels. This book is good place to begin: wonderful, sun-drenched stories. Afterwards, when you feel you are ready for a long novel, I recommend 'Shira.'
Robert Wechsler
Jul 21, 2013 Robert Wechsler rated it liked it
Shelves: israeli-lit
Not nearly as exciting as the novels of his that I've read. Many were good, but that very special voice and viewpoint was missing in most. The stories weren't memorable.
Dec 28, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing
Incredible stories with beautiful themes related to Jewish tradition and Zionism
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aka Shmuel Yosef Agnon or Shai Agnon

Awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people." (Award shared with Nelly Sachs.) He died in Jerusalem, Israel.
More about S.Y. Agnon...

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