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Tales of the Ten Lost Tribes

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Deeply melancholy with a streak of dark humor, award-winning author Tamar Yellin presents this haunting collection of linked stories that examine the heart of human longing and ask the question: Where do we belong?

Taking its imagery from the legend of the exiled ten tribes of Israel, Tales of the Ten Lost Tribes follows the life-journey of an enigmatic narrator who encoun
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 1st 2008)
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Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These melancholy stories, narrated by a wandering Jewish scholar who encounters a series of lost and lonely people, read like early 19th-century Eastern European stories, but the theme of displacement feels very contemporary. She captures the sense that once you leave home, you may never find anywhere -- even if you return to your lost place of origin -- that feels like home again.
Harvey Tordoff
This book was a gift. I scanned the obscure quotations between the chapters and thought I was in for a heavy read, so for a while I put off starting it. To be honest, I am not that concerned what happened to the ten lost tribes, although I remember from my childhood that my aunt claimed to be a British Israelite, and that seemed quite exotic. I never spoke to her about it then, and by the time I reached adulthood and might have had a conversation about it my mind had moved onto other things. Sti ...more
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a fascinating book, very original. It can get a bit musty, as it's stream-of-consciousness, and the narrator is definitely a bit of a stuffy academic. :P Throughout the course of the stories, you can tell that it's the same protagonist, though he has no name and has no gender (I'm assuming male)- the stories are all about wandering, being a foreigner, being lost, or being uncomfortable in your own skin. The supporting cast always receives names only because they are fleeting.

May 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit I've only heard of the ten lost tribes in passing and don't know as much about the story as I would like. That being said, I don't really know what I just read.
Did the narrator use people he's met that have a common theme with each of the leaders of the ten lost tribes? Did they just remind her of each tribe so she told their stories?
Most of the chapters I read and found myself thinking, "What does this have to do with Judaism?"
The writing was better than I expected and I collected s
Given stunning reviews, I expected to like this collection of stories much more than I did. Each story is preceded by the name of one of the ten lost tribes of Israel, and some brief quotes about the lost tribes. The stories themselves are cleverly linked to this conceit of the lost tribes in that each features an unnamed narrator, disconnected from others and homeless in the sense of being lost in the world. Ultimately the stories seemed to run together into a depressing river of lost opportuni ...more
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book as an "Advance Reader's Copy/Uncorrected Proof" in a second-hand store and consider it quite a find. Amazing manipulation/camouflaging/metamorphoses of the linking narrator/persona as the eternal/universal border-crosser. Some elements of magical realism, but they don't hit you over the head. This line is not really a cliche: "You want to go home, she answered, but there is no such place."
This is a very intriguing premise: the book is a series of linked stories and the language is lovely and evocative, but they don't always 'work' independently and as a set. I liked the way the last story tied in with the first, although thought it a little forced. The first story was the best, and this is what hooked me into committing to the book initially. I had high hopes and felt disappointed by the end, but I would definitely check for more fiction by this writer.
Kayla Crockett
Although I have yet to discover really WHAT this had to do with the ten lost tribes, I really enjoyed the book. It's a quick read. I loved the author's writing style. She really has a knack for crafting a wonderfully written sentence. Each chapter reads as a short story and I found them each engaging and interesting. I'd recommend it to almost everyone.
Debra Robbins
Mar 18, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing. I did not get the connection between the tribe named in each story and the theme or image of the story (maybe there wasn't one!) I was glad to finish it and be able to move on to something different.
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful writing. Some stories work better than others, but all are good. At least a couple are stellar.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved her first book. Still trying to understand this one. Short Stories but I'm sensing a pattern that I haven't captures yet.
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Tamar Yellin is an author and teacher who lives in Yorkshire. Her first novel, The Genizah at the House of Shepher, won the 2007 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Tamar Yellin was raised in Leeds. Her father was a third-generation native of Jerusalem;[2] his father was Yitzhak Yaakov Yellin (1885–1964), one of the pioneers of the Hebrew language press in pre-state Israel. Her mother was the da
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