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Mercy of a Rude Stream Series

About the Book

Mercy of a Rude Stream Series

The first installment of Mercy of a Rude Stream, called A Star Shines Over Mt. Morris Park, concerns the adventures of a boy named Ira Stigman and his extended Jewish immigrant family. In this opening volume, set in 1920's New York, we follow Ira's psychological maturation which is burdened by not only the onset of adolescence, but also by abject poverty, the pain of life in an alien world, and a violent sexual awakening.

A Diving Rock on the Hudson, the second and the most disturbing book of the series, paints a grand panorama of New York City in the Roaring Twenties, as Ira begins his freshman year at CCNY. Yet, this colorful, absorbing world is laced with the black undercurrent of despair and with Ira's unmentionable transgression, a sin so horrible that he is doomed to near madness by the twisted urges that victimize his mind.

Completed in the last year of his life, From Bondage is perhaps Roth's most profound book in the series. Narrated partly from the perspective of the old man, Ira Stigman, there is a Tolstoyan aspect to this third volume -- that of the aged writer confronting his imminent passing as he continues to draw sustenance from the eroticized stories of his youth.

This trio of books has been called by critics "one of the most remarkable literary creations of this century."

Mercy of a Rude Stream Series
by Henry Roth

  • Publication Date: December 15, 1994
  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Picador
  • ISBN-10: 0312119291
  • ISBN-13: 9780312119294