Synopses & Reviews
In Leaves from the Garden of Eden, Howard Schwartz, a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, has gathered together one hundred of the most astonishing and luminous stories from Jewish folk tradition. Just as Schwartz's award-winning book Tree of Souls collected the essential myths of Jewish tradition, Leaves from the Garden of Eden collects one hundred essential Jewish tales. As imaginative as the Arabian Nights, these stories invoke enchanted worlds, demonic realms, and mystical experiences. The four most popular types of Jewish tales are gathered here--fairy tales, folktales, supernatural tales, and mystical tales--taking readers on heavenly journeys, lifelong quests, and descents to the underworld. There is a dybbuk lurking in a well, a book that comes to life, and a world where Lilith, the Queen of Demons, seduces the unsuspecting. Here too are Jewish versions of many of the best-known tales, including "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "Rapunzel." Schwartz's retelling of one of these stories, "The Finger," inspired Tim Burton's film Corpse Bride.
About the Author
is Professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the author of Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism
, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 2005.
Table of Contents
I. Summoning the Patriarchs
II. Four Types of Jewish Tales
III. The Jewish Mythical Imagination
IV. What Makes a Jewish Folktale Jewish?
V. The Stories of Reb Nachman
FAIRY TALES: 25
SUPERNATURAL TALES: 25
MYSTICAL TALES: 25
SOURCES AND COMMENTARIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ORIGINAL SOURCES
SELECTED ENGLISH BIBLIOGRAPHY