” If you enter unknown world without a reservation it will yield you extraordinary gifts” – Arnold Zable
“Cosmopolitan – being at ease in other worlds” – Arnold Zable
I like him. I like him a lot. I love his book, rather I love the stories he tells. He calls himself ‘a storyteller of a storyteller’. A bit complex, ha. However, it is true.
He follows the story of seemingly ordinary people, of people who’d you pass by without a second glance. He opens up extraordinary worlds that can’t be seen by many.
Moreover, he tells the stories that resonates with me on so many levels, culturally, historically, emotionally.
Being a volatile mixture of at least ten bloodlines, I can easily identify with as many cultures. Growing up within Jewish mishpokha, I love all things Jewish. My step-dad is Jewish… Thus, I can safely say I am full of a wonderful kaleidoscope of cultures, languages, histories, stories and traditions.
This new book by Arnold Zable is so many things to so many people. It’s, like his Cafe Scheherazade, layered with so many sparks, sparkles, shadows and smells. You can find and identify with whatever you like, whatever calls to you.
This is how I read: I identify with a character… It makes reading so much more fun.
In one spot it’s the story of my step-dad (Russian Jew truck-driver, ‘almost has been’). In another, it is a story of Yudishe Mama (my friends’ grandmums and mothers).
‘The Fighter’ is the story I want my daughter to read (on top of my ten-something bloodlines she has British-Jewish blood in her. Go figure). She is not as lucky as myself to grow up in a big extended family or in a small town with its ‘yard’ culture of growing up. She is missing out on so many corners, colours, joys and trials of childhood. This book is a way for her to experience some of them.
All in all, I love Arnold Zable’s power to tell the story. I love his way with words. He triggers imagination, he pulls heart’s strings, he breaks the scabs on souls’ wounds.
Anyhow, we take whatever we can from the stories we hear or read, whatever we want. But every story teaches us something and leaves us richer than we were.