At times a comedy of terrors, pitting the severe pogrom pain of one side of our narrator’s family against the other’s imagined holocaust horrors in a contest of who suffered more, the consequences are deadly serious: when long-ago traumas trigger ones even more devastating for our protagonist, his fantastic schemes of vengeance and gallows humor can barely conceal his mad despair. Weaving tales of comic misfortune and heartbreaking tragedy, this is part detective story, part probe into one family’s edifice of unhappiness. From past to present, Odessa to Sarajevo to Montreal, New York, Hollywood, and Gaza, our storyteller straddles the tightrope between laughter and tears, between succumbing to tragedy and finding ways to transcend it.
"The boy whose fate is shaped by a pogrom in Odessa becomes father to a daughter who meets her fate in besieged Sarajevo. Maya approaches life with "a Russian soul," that fascinates her family, friends and lovers, but drives her always close to the edge. Grave Dancing is a vivid family saga that connects Montreal with the troubles and dangers of the Old World."
"As told by the heroic narrator, Velvel Blittstein, Grave Dancing is a powerful, beautifully crafted work that speaks volumes about love, loss and the human condition. Truly an illuminating work of Art."