'A landmark of the American literary century' Boston Globe
Sixty years after the publication of his great modernist masterpiece, Call It Sleep, Henry Roth returned with Mercy of a Rude Stream - a sequence of four internationally-acclaimed epic novels of immigrant life in early-twentieth century New York.
Ira Stigman's polarised life has never been more difficult. On one side is Edith Welles, his supporter, friend and lover; she believes in him. On the other is his shameful immigrant origins, his poverty, his family with their arguments and lack of sophistication. Then there is his incestuous relations with his sister and his cousin, who may be pregnant.
This fourth and final volume, published posthumously, brings to a close one of America's most extraordinary literary odysseys.
'The literary comeback of the century' Vanity Fair
'As unquenchably vibrant with life as the immigrants whose existence it commemorates' Sunday Times
'A dynamic and moving event . . . a stirring portrait of a vanished culture . . . a poignant chapter in the life-drama of a unique American writer' Newsweek
'Although it is sixty years since a new novel by Mr Roth last hit the bookshelves, it has been worth the wait' The Economist
'Fresh and touching' Wall Street Journal
'A precision of detail which brings the sounds from the tenements, the heat of the sidewalk steaming off the pages' Sunday Express
'A meticulous evocation of a now-distant episode of the American experience' New York Times Book Review
Mercy of a Rude Stream: The Complete Novels includes
1) A Star Shines Over Mt. Morris Park
2) A Diving Rock on the Hudson
3) From Bondage
4) Requiem for Harlem.
In 1994 Henry Roth broke his sixty-year literary silence following his classic novel CALL IT SLEEP, with the publication of volume one of MERCY OF A RUDE STREAM, called A STAR SHINES OVER MT. MORRIS PARK. This four-volume series was hailed as 'unsurpassable' in the annals of twentieth-century American literature. Henry Roth died aged 89 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 1995.